Boeing has opened a new facility outside Philadelphia to build fuselages for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and modernise the MV-22 fleet for the US Marines.
The company has invested $115m in the new 350,000ft² facility to improve safety and productivity, as well as reduce operating costs.
Boeing Vertical Lift vice-president and general manager David Koopersmith said: “Boeing’s $115m investment supports the US and international demand for the unrivalled capabilities of the V-22.
“We started this project two years ago in a mothballed building. Now, it is a state of the art manufacturing centre for the only in-service tiltrotor aircraft in the world.”
The company will use the facility as the hub for the ‘Common Configuration: Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM)’ programme to improve the readiness and reliability of the USMC tiltrotor aircraft fleet.
The CC-RAM programme seeks to improve commonality in the MV-22 Ospreys fleet by upgrading previously built aircraft to the new Block C configuration.
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Additionally, the factory will be used for the production of the fuselage for the US Navy, Air Force, Marines and international Osprey customers.
USMC V-22 joint programme manager Colonel Matthew Kelly said: “The V-22 readiness programme is our number one priority. The CC-RAM programme is key in meeting our readiness goals and returning capable and reliable aircraft to Marine units around the world.”
In July, Bell Boeing Joint Program Office won a $4.2bn contract to manufacture and deliver a total of 58 tiltrotors to the Navy, Marines, and Air Force, and the Government of Japan.
The contract includes 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the Navy, 14 MV-22B aircraft for the USMC, one CV-22B for the Air Force, and four MV-22B aircraft for Japan.
Bell Boeing bagged a contract modification in January last year to modify USMC MV-22 Ospreys.