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U.S. State Dept approves potential sale of AEGIS Combat System to Canada -Pentagon

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lockheed Martin is seen at Euronaval, the world naval defence exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris
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By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to Canada of 4 AEGIS Combat Systems made by Lockheed Martin in a deal valued at up to $1.7 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The Pentagon said the sale of the powerful missile and radar systems to the NATO ally would "significantly improve" network-centric warfare capabilities for U.S. forces operating globally alongside Canada's.

AEGIS systems are primarily used aboard ships though they have been adapted for land use.

The package would include four shipsets worth of the AEGIS Combat System and three shipsets of the MK 41 Vertical Launch System as well as support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Monday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; editing by Grant McCool)