Japan’s NIPPI has joined Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific (FRC WESTPAC) as commercial partner to support V-22 maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO).

As part of this partnership, FRC WESTPAC has inducted the first US Marine Corps (USMC) V-22 Osprey aircraft to undergo planned depot-level maintenance.

The services will be delivered at NIPPI’s facility in Yamato, Japan.

The MV-22B Osprey belongs to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265), the Dragons.

FRC WESTPAC commanding officer lieutenant colonel Kevin Ryan said: “FRC WESTPAC is very excited to be inducting this aircraft today and adding another commercial partner to support V-22 planned maintenance interval (PMI) events in the region.

“NIPPI Corporation has demonstrated their maintenance expertise on multiple other aircraft lines for FRC WESTPAC and we anticipate we will see the same quality output for the V-22 line.”

Before NIPPI, Subaru has been providing the services to FRC WESTPAC V-22 since 2015. It was managing the maintenance requirement for the Osprey fleet situated Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS).

NIPPI was allocated nine months to prepare their centre and make plans for the aircraft maintenance.

The nine-month period commenced on 1 July last year when the contract took effect.

On 17 December last year, almost three months ahead of schedule, the US Government granted final sign off to NIPPI, indicating that the corporation had met the requirements to induct an aircraft.

All induction proposals are studied and assessed by Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka, FRC WESTPAC’s contracting authority, who assigns the workload of maintenance.

In the event of V-22 maintenance contract reaching its maximum lifecycle, NIPPI and Subaru will continue to contend until the expiration of the contract on 31 December 2030.

At present, NIPPI has four FRC WESTPAC’s aviation maintenance contracts, including the H-1, H-60, F-18, and the newly awarded V-22.