The US Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approves a sale of nine Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes to Japan. Radio and navigation systems, spare parts and logistical support would also be included with the new air surveillance and airborne command aircraft for an estimated total contract of $3.135 billion.

The sale now has to be approved by the US Congress for the nine aircraft to be added to a previous order placed in June 2015 for four E-2Ds. “It is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability,” says the DCSA.

The Advanced Hawkeyes will help the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in surveilling and securing the country’s airspace but also its territorial waters, as they are capable of detecting both aircraft and ships. The APY-9 Radar fitted in the E-2D has an effective range of over 500 km (270 nautical miles).

This last decade has seen a surge of Chinese naval incursions in the Japanese territorial waters, especially in the Senkaku Islands, a Japanese territory claimed by both China and Taiwan. On September 6, 2018, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign affairs published a report claiming that up to five Chinese vessels enter the Japanese waters every month while sailing daily in its contiguous zone.

(Source: Japan Coast Guard)