The US Navy has awarded a modification contract to Bell-Boeing to develop and deliver 21 V-22 Osprey aircraft.
Under the $1.4bn modification deal, which follows a previously awarded contract, Bell-Boeing will supply 17 MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the US Marine Corps (USMC) and four CV-22 aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF) Special Operations.
The company will also provide long lead components needed to develop and deliver 19 MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft for the USMC and 18 CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft for the USAF in fiscal 2014, as part of the contract.
The tilt-rotor aircraft is being developed in configurations such as the combat assault and assault support MV-22 for the USMC and the US Army; the long-range special operations CV-22 for US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM); and the US Navy HV-22 for combat search-and-rescue, special warfare and fleet logistic support.
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Designed to perform multiple missions with long-range, high-speed cruise performance, the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey features both vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities.
Powered by twin Rolls-Royce AE 1107C-Liberty engines, the aircraft is armed with an M240G 7.62mm machine gun and ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning system.
Additional features of the fully shipboard compatible aircraft include glass cockpit, equipped with six night-vision goggle compatible displays.
The aircraft has been designed to support naval missions, including combat search-and-rescue, fleet logistics support, special warfare support, and amphibious assault, as well as long-range special ops infiltration and exfiltration.
Work is scheduled to be complete in September 2016, with the US Naval Air Systems Command serving as the contracting activity.
Image: A US Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft conducting mission. Photo: US Navy photo by Lt jg Anthony Falvo (Released).