The Bell Boeing Program Office (Amarillo, Texas) announced on March 28 that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a $10.4 billion, five-year multi-year procurement (MYP) contract to deliver 167 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Bell Boeing is a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (Ft. Worth, Texas) company and The Boeing Co. (Seattle,Wash.).
The five-year contract includes 26 CV-22 aircraft for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and 141 MV-22 aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps. The contract includes an option for additional aircraft.
“The Multi-Year Procurement sets a strong positive course for the V-22 Osprey program,” said Gene Cunningham, vice president of the Bell Boeing Program Office in Amarillo. “The government and industry teams have worked very hard to reach this agreement. The MYP contract allows the industry team to stabilize our production plans, creates savings for the taxpayer, and increases the number of aircraft being produced for the war-fighter.”
The fuselage for the V-22 is built by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia, Pa. Bell builds components for the aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas, and completes final assembly at its Military Aircraft Assembly Center in Amarillo. Substantial parts of the craft are fabricated from carbon fiber composites.
The V-22 is a tiltrotor aircraft with proprotors and engines installed in nacelles at the tips of both wings. With the nacelles in the vertical position, the V-22 can take-off, hover and land like a helicopter. With the engine nacelles in the horizontal or forward position, the V-22 can fly at more than 300 mph with the long range of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane. Currently 12 Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft are conducting combat operations from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.