The US State Department has approved the possible sale of a Lockheed Martin C-130J and six engines to the government of Brunei.

Brunei requested clearance to purchase the tactical transport, along with equipment, spare parts and associated training and logistical support for a total of $343 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 7 October. It delivered the necessary certification to Congress for approval the previous day.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Brunei relationship, which has been a force for regional stability and economic progress in Southeast Asia,” the DSCA says. “The aircraft will enable Brunei to provide aid and assistance in greater capacities to regional allies and partners in need. Brunei should have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft into its inventory.”

Brunei proposes to use the aircraft in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. It will also be operated in support of maritime patrol and search and rescue missions, the DSCA says.

The country has been considering the purchase of a C-130J since at least 2005, when an example conducted flight demonstrations there following the Aero India air show. Other aircraft being considered at the time for maritime patrol duties included the Airbus CN235 and C295, ATR 42, Beech 1900D, Bombardier Dash 8 and Saab 2000, according to reports.