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US will sell Indonesia attack helicopters

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday that the Pentagon will sell eight Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia for $500 million.

The deal includes high-tech Longbow radars.

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At a news conference in the Indonesian capital, Hagel also said Indonesia has agreed to discuss allowing US recovery teams to search for the remains of American troops lost on Indonesian soil or in its territorial waters during World War II. The work will be done by the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command.

Hagel is in Jakarta to meet with top government officials before attending an Asian defense ministers meeting in Brunei.

The Pentagon is making a deliberate pivot toward Asia and the Pacific after more than a decade of wars in the greater Middle East.

While the shift in emphasis is part of a broader US effort to expand economic and social interactions with the region, Washington is also expanding military activity.

After a meeting with Hagel last week, China’s defense chief, General Chang Wanquan, said Asia Pacific nations have noticed that the United States has “highlighted’’ the military component of its adjusted strategy in the region. He appeared to be alluding in part to new US Marine rotational deployments to Australia.

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