US military orders additional V-22 Ospreys
The Bell Boeing V-22 programme will produce and deliver 99 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for the US military under a new five-year US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract announced on 13 June. The contract, valued at approximately $6.5 billion, is structured to provide nearly $1 billion in savings to the US government compared with procurements through single-year contracts.
The order will include 92 MV-22 models for the US Marine Corps and seven CV-22 models for the US Air Force Special Operations Command. The contract also includes a provision permitting NAVAIR to order up to 23 additional aircraft.
The V-22 Osprey is a joint service, multirole combat aircraft that uses tiltrotor technology to combine the speed and range of a fixed-wing airplane with the vertical performance of a helicopter. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transform the aircraft into a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.
Marine Corps Col Greg Masiello, V-22 Joint Program Office programme manager, said: ‘Signing this contract speaks volumes towards the confidence our services have in the V-22 Osprey. Since 2007, the V-22 has been continuously forward-deployed in a range of combat, humanitarian, and special operations roles. Ospreys continue to transform our Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force and Air Force Special Operations by enabling missions not possible with conventional aircraft, and helped save lives where others could not.’
Vince Tobin, executive director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program, added: ‘The versatile V-22 Osprey is the ideal aircraft for an era when global militaries are being asked to do more with less. It gives operators the ability to achieve groundbreaking operational efficiencies and maximise the use of precious resources like time, money and personnel. This contract will enable us to most efficiently build and deliver this aircraft to current and future customers around the world.’
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