Posted by John Keller
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 14 June 2013. U.S. Navy leaders are ordering 99 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, Texas, for the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps under terms of a $4.9 billion contract modification announced this week.
The contract from Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., calls for the Bell-Boeing alliance between Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. and the Boeing Co. to build 92 MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Marine Corps and seven CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Air Force.
The contract also gives the Navy an option to order as many as 23 additional V-22 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 rotate forward to transform the aircraft into a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.
"Since 2007, the V-22 has been continuously forward-deployed in a range of combat, humanitarian, and special operations roles," says Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, the V-22 joint program manager.
"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," Masiello says.
More than 200 V-22 Ospreys are currently in operation and the worldwide fleet has amassed more than 185,000 flight hours, with half of those hours logged in the past three years.
On this contract modification Bell-Boeing will do the work in Fort Worth, Texas; Ridley Park, Pa.; Amarillo, Texas; Dallas; East Aurora, N.Y.; Park City, Utah; El Segundo, Calif.; Endicott, N.Y.; Tempe, Ariz.; and other locations, and should be finished in September 2019.