Bell Boeing was awarded a $4.2 billion contract from the US Navy to produce 78 V-22 Ospreys, the third multiyear purchase of the VTOL aircraft.
The fixed-price-incentive-fee contract pays for 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the USN; 34 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps; 1 CV-22B for the Air Force; and 4 MV-22B aircraft for the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
“This multiyear production contract provides program production stability through at least 2024,” said Chris Gehler, Bell vice president for the V-22 programme.
The third multiyear contract for Bell Boeing was not a forgone conclusion for the joint venture, but now that it is signed the manufacturer is guaranteed work for years to come and in return the USN is rewarded for its bulk purchase with a price reduction.
The USN will use its new CMV-22B for transporting personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers, eventually replacing the Grumman C-2A Greyhound, a twin-engine turboprop cargo aircraft which has been in service since the mid-1960s.
The V-22 Osprey entered service in 2007 with the USMC and the Air Force Special Operations Command in 2009. The aircraft has seen action in war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq as troop and cargo transports, though they have been used in humanitarian missions as well.
The V-22 can carry 24 troops or up to 20,000lb of internal cargo. The VTOL aircraft’s max cruise speed is 266kt.