PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Avionics designers at the Bell-Boeing joint venture will upgrade nine U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft with new weather radar, electronic warfare (EW) systems, redesigned crew environmental conditioning systems, and other avionics improvements under terms of a $146 million order announced Monday.
Official of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office (JPO) in Amarillo, Texas, to upgrade nine MV-22 aircraft from the Block B to the Block C configuration.
The MV-22 Block B aircraft was the first deployable configuration of the Osprey tiltrotor. This block improved access to the nacelle for inspection purposes, and substantial reliability and maintenance improvements.
The avionics upgrade contract includes planned maintenance intervals for eight MV-22 aircraft in support of the Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) program.
Block C aircraft incorporate mission enhancements and increased operational capability, including weather radar, a forward firing ALE-47 airborne countermeasures dispenser system, improved hover coupled features, an improved environmental conditioning system, and a troop commander SA station.
The V-22 Osprey uses tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. It features vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities, and is designed long-range high-speed missions.
The Marine Corps MV-22 primarily is to transport warfighters, equipment, and supplies from ships and land bases for combat assault and assault support. The aircraft also supports naval missions like combat search and rescue, fleet logistics support, special warfare support, amphibious assault, ship-to-objective maneuvers, and sustained operations ashore.
The MV-22 can transport 24 combat troops and 20,000 pounds of internal cargo, or 15,000 pounds of external cargo. On this order Bell-Boeing will do the work in Ridley Park, Pa.; and Fort Worth, Texas, and should be finished by March 2022.