The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft and associated equipment to Japan.
Under the estimated $3bn sale, the Japanese Government requested the supply of 17 V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft, as well as 40 AE1107C Rolls-Royce engines, 40 AN/AAQ-27 forward looking infrared radars, 40 AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems, 40 AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers, and 40 AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser systems.
The US will also supply 40 units of AN/APX-123 identification friend-or-foe systems, AN/APN-194 radar altimeters, AN/ARN-147 very high-frequency omni-directional range instrument landing system beacon navigation systems, 629F-23 multi-band radios (Non-COMSEC), AN/ASN-163 miniature airborne global positioning system receivers, and AN/ARN-153 tactical airborne navigation systems.
The package, approved by the US State Department, also includes 80 night vision goggles, joint mission planning system with unique planning components, aircraft spares and repair parts, support and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, software, logistics and technical support services, as well as other elements of technical and programme support.
Japan, which is currently modernising its transport fleet to better support its defence and special mission requirements, claims that the sale will promote burden sharing and interoperability with US forces.
In particular, the V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft are expected to significantly boost the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force's humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations.
Consistent with US objectives and the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the sale will also contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by improving security of Japan, which is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific, and a key partner of the US in ensuring peace and stability in the region.
Sikorsky Aircraft and General Electric Company have been named as prime contractors for the FMS programme.
Image: A Block C modified V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in flight at Naval Air Warfare Center Patuxent River, Maryland, US. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.