Plans for the acquisition of Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft by Japan are moving ahead, with the US State Department having now given approval for the purchase. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) confirmed the approval on May 6, saying that it had also delivered the required notification to Congress of the deal on the previous day.
The proposed acquisition for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force will comprise 17 Bell-Boeing V-22B Osprey Block C aircraft. The deal is valued at an estimated $3 billion, including associated equipment, parts and logistical support. Six spare engines will be included in the deal, along with FLIRs, missile warning systems, RWRs, countermeasures dispenser systems, IFF systems, radar altimeters, VOR/ILS systems, 40 of each of these being purchased, along with other equipment.
Japan is modernizing its transport fleet to better support its defence and special mission needs and the DSCA notes that the proposed sale will greatly enhance the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations. Japan has been considering acquisition of the Osprey for a number of years and the Ministry of Defence had formally confirmed plans to purchase the type when announcing the 2015 defence budget on November 21 last year. Alan Warnes