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US approves possible sale of early-warning planes to Japan
[WASHINGTON] The US State Department said Monday it is ready to approve the sale of up to nine early-warning military planes to Japan, in a sale worth more than US$3 billion.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, made by Northrop Grumman, are equipped with powerful radars that can detect other planes and ships at long range.
Worth an estimated US$3.1 billion, the deal would also include associated technology and spare engines.
Congress has 30 days to raise objections to the sale, though this is unlikely given that Japan is a close US ally.
"It is vital to US national interests to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defence capability," the State Department said.