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A Chennai based Start-up, Hawking Defence Services(HDS) has joined hands with Australian-based Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI), the manufacturers of the ‘Albatross’ amphibious aircraft to bring back Grumman HU-16 Albatross, a large, twin–radial engine amphibious seaplane as G-111T Albatross nearly 75 years back after its first flight.

HU-16 Albatross are still operational with the United States Air Force and Navy, but G-111T will come with a better engine that boasts a new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-X engine providing substantially improved performance, fuel economy and reliability and will be manufactured in a unit in Tamil Nadu gradually first with few components and later assembly of the whole aircraft in next 5 years.

G-111T can be used as an amphibious plane that can carry 28 pax plus 3 crew and luggage in a Commerical configuration and can be used as a cargo plane for the Indian Navy or Indian Coast Guard that can carry 4.5-tons of useable cargo capacity for water operations.

G-111T can be used as a Search & Rescue aircraft that is capable of missions of up to 12 hours, (extendable to 20 hours with external fuel tanks) equipped with mission systems and sensors tailored to specific customer requirements.

India was in talks with Japan for the procurement of the 15 ShinMaywa US-2, an amphibious plane for the Indian Navy to connect to hundreds of Indian islands that are part of the Lakshadweep and Andaman Nicobar island chain but the price of the amphibious plane was too steep for India’s liking due to which plans were dropped.

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