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Pentagon Notifies Congress of Potential $3 Billion V-22 Osprey Sale to Japan

Japanese ship Shimokita operates U.S Marine V-22 Osprey aircraft near San Diego Calif. in 2013. US Navy Photo

Japanese ship Shimokita operates U.S Marine V-22 Osprey aircraft near San Diego Calif. in 2013. US Navy Photo

Congress has received notification of a potential $3 billon sale of 17 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and support equipment to Japan, according to a Tuesday announcement from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
In its statement, DSCA (pronounced dis-kah) said the potential sale would expand the ability of the Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) to operate more closely with the U.S. and extend the range of their ground forces.

“Japan is modernizing its transport fleet to better support its defense and special mission needs. The proposed sale of V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft will greatly enhance the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations,” read the DSCA statement.
“This sale will promote burden sharing with our ally and interoperability with U.S. forces. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.”

The agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Tuesday.

In addition to the Osprey’s the deal’s outline would also include night vision goggles, a variety of radars, spare parts and training equipment.

Japan has been considering the buy at least since 2013 with 17 Osprey’s planned for as part of the country’s five-year mid-term defense program update as part of an emerging amphibious capability modeled on the U.S. Marine Corps, according to a January report in Flight Global.

Ospreys are key to the U.S Marine Corps posture in Western Pacific thanks tho their ability to fly further and faster than traditional helicopters and still land on a variety of ships.

For it’s part, Japan has commissioned the first of two Izumo-class large helicopter carriers that would make ideal launching platforms for the V-22s. U.S. Marines have also successfully tested V-22s on the onboard Japan’s Hyuga-class DDHs in 2013.

The announcement of the potential sale follows closely with a revision of U.S.-Japan guidelines that allow Japan and the U.S. closer operations.

Unlike domestic defense programs, U.S. foreign military sales undergo a much more circuitous acquisition process.

Congress now has the option to approve the concept of the sale and Japan has to agree to the terms before companies can agree to final terms and delivery dates, according a State Department official told USNI News on Tuesday.

Officials at Bell-Boeing did not immediately respond to USNI News for a request for comment.

  • Now I would not be surprise if Japan buys the F-35B as well

    • NavySubNuke

      Hopefully they are smart enough to avoid that disaster and actually develop something on their own that is capable and affordable —- two qualities the F35 (especially the F35B) lacks.

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      They probably while, including the “A” model for their Air Force, too. But most likely an Indigenous Building Program. Without all that “Wait-In-Line” BS that everyone else is going through…

      • Of maybe Japan co/develops it with them

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          Hey Nicky, Long Time No See. But back to the Original Question, I see Maintenance Right’s, Overture’s from Lockheed-Martin. But not Product Rights. And I don’t see Japan, backing-off the question for Full-Production Rights. Lockheed-Martin, want’s a Monopoly on Production and the only Losers are the paying Customers…

          • Eventually, the US will strike a right deal with Japan

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Probably, But it won’t be with the United States as Middleman. But, United States as New Lockheed-Martin Controlling Interest Partner and Lockheed-Martin as Silent Partner. Diplomacy trumps Monopoly…

          • It could happen. We never know what kind of Backroom, boardroom deals are made.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            I can’t think of One Occasion where a “Back-Alley” Deal solved anything, Where the US. Government didn’t have to Step In and Resolve It…

  • NavySubNuke

    Nice – 17 won’t be enough for what is coming but it is a good start.

  • Curtis Conway

    The Japanese have been meeting the challenge of assuming more security responsibilities in the Pacific. We should not only sell them some but Kawasaki Industries should be licensed to make them. I bet they will go for the F-35B too. Makes too much sense.

  • Secundius

    It’s not the block “C”, it’s just plain C. As in V-22C. Also the Japanese want too build it themselves, None of this BS of having to Wait Your Turn CRAP…

    • old guy

      Not only that, but with guess whose money.

      • Secundius

        @ old guy.

        I thought to Moon Maiden’s Teleported you off the planet or something. Or at the very least got Kicked-Off the Website, like I almost did a couple of day’s ago. Now all I need to do, is see if “Nicky” is alright, too. Haven’t heard from her in a while, either…

        • old guy

          Don’t worry. At 87+ I am using my impartial cussedness to keep me going. I hope all is well with you. I need your informed fact checks to fuel the fires.
          By the way, I think that you would like an old Paul Muni movie entitled,”The Last Angry Man.’

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Well, to quote John Vernon on Animal House, I’m on Double Secret Probation @ USNI for a Bad Overview of Congress and Backdooring them in posting my comments, other than that. I’m Hunky Dory…

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