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US approves $2B Osprey aircraft sale to Indonesia

Members of the San Antonio community board a CV-22 Osprey during the 2015 Joint Base San Antonio Air Show and Open House in October 2015 in Texas. (Photo courtesy of Robert Sullivan). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, Jul 9, 2020, Jakarta Globe. Indonesia could soon get eight MV-22 Block C Osprey and the aircraft equipment and weapon system worth $2 billion in total from the United States after the US State Department cleared the purchase, Jakarta Globe reported.

The approval came after the Southeast Asian country saw two of its military aircraft crashed in less than two weeks amid its efforts to revamp its aging weaponry.

The State Department notified the US Congress on Monday about the sale.

“It is vital to US national interest to assist Indonesia in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability,” the State Department said in a statement.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of an important regional partner that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region,” the State Department said.

The US also did not expect the Indonesian military to have any difficulty in operating Osprey aircraft.

“The proposed sale of aircraft and support will enhance Indonesia’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations,” the State Department said.

US Congress must be notified about any significant defense equipment worth more than $14 million within 30 calendar days before the US executive branch can move forward with the sales, according to the US Defense Cooperation Agency website.

The US administration does not need Congres approval for the sale, but the later can pass legislation to block the deal.

Bell Textron and The Boeing Company are the main contractors of the sale, which includes eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft, 24 Rolls Royce engines, radars, missiles, as well as training and technical support, among others.

The trirotor aircraft has helicopter maneuverability such as vertical takeoff and landing and can attain the speed of fixed-wing aircraft when airborne.

These capabilities make V-22 Osprey the ideal choice for search and rescue missions, while it can also carry personnel or logistical supplies.

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