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09:13 AM, June 2, 2015
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The US State Department has approved a $1.7 billion possible sale of four Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft to Japan, Reuters reported Monday.

The deal includes the aircraft, four engines, radars and other equipment, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a notification to Congress.

Japan, which already operates an earlier model of the E-2 aircraft, has been interested in upgrading its fleet for several years. Japan is seeking to strengthen its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.

The Pentagon said that it was the U.S. national interest to help Japan develop and maintain a strong and ready capability for self-defense. The sale would improve Japan's ability to defend its homeland and monitor air and naval activity in the Pacific region.

The latest E-2 version, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, features an entirely new avionics suite including the new AN/APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, a glass cockpit and enable aerial refueling.

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