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US clears V-22 sale to Japan, missiles to Asian countries

By James Drew

The US State Department has approved the sale of Bell Boeing V-22B Ospreys to Japan, and meanwhile Jordan has been approved to receive a Sikorsky-built UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter for VIP transport.

For munitions, Raytheon is allowed to sell its AIM-120C7 AMRAAM missile to Malaysia and AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder to Indonesia through the US government's foreign military sales process.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed Congress about the approvals in a series of notices published May 5.

Japan announced its intention to purchase 17 Ospreys late last year along with the Northrop Grumman-built Global Hawk -- deals that would be worth billions of dollars to the American defense industry.

Japan intends to by Ospreys in the Block C configuration as well as parts and services for total sale worth about $3 billion, according to the notice.

The package would include 40 Rolls-Royce AE1107C engines, plus missile warning systems, forward-looking infrared radars, aircraft self-protection devices, night vision goggles, and navigation systems.

“Japan is modernising its transport fleet to better support its defense and special mission needs,” the notice says. “The proposed sale of V-22B Osprey aircraft will greatly enhance the Japan ground self-defense force’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations.”

The sale to Jordan of one VIP Black Hawk helicopter is worth $21 million and includes two General Electric T700 engines.

Indonesia plans to by 30 Sidewinders initially along with test and integration missiles for $47 million. Malaysia is buying 10 AMRAAMs initially for $21 million.

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