The S-80M-1 export variant of the MH-53E is the only variant of the S-80 series that found a foreign buyer, with 11 obtained by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The initial buy was ordered in 1983, but due to political problems the first one was not delivered until 1989. The Japanese Sea Dragons are very similar to their US Navy equivalents, but lack the inflight refueling probe. The Japanese Sea Dragons have a secondary transport capability and may be assigned disaster-relief missions, which are a high priority for the Self-Defense Forces. They are now being replaced by 14 EHI MH-101 Merlins.