US Gives Nod to $3 Billion Japan Osprey Sale

The State Department signed off on a proposed foreign military sale of the V-22B Block C Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement, released just over a week after the US and Japan rolled out their revamped defense cooperation guidelines agreement. The proposed $3-billion sale for 17 V-22Bs, along with engines, forward looking infrared radars, missile warning systems, countermeasures, night vision goggles, and other components would help Japan to support “special mission needs” and enhance the Japan Self Defense Force’s amphibious operations capabilities and its ability to respond in humanitarian and disaster relief operations, according to DSCA. The sale is closely linked with the US and Japan’s expanding military cooperation activities, as the announcement states the deal will “assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self defense capability.” In September 2012, Japan and the US reached an agreement allowing US V-22 operations in Japan, after the Japanese expressed concerns about safety and air worthiness. Japan has since expressed interest in buying its own V-22s, as well as new ISR aircraft.