MV-22 upgrade, maintenance contract awarded to Bell-Boeing

Bell-Boeing awarded a contract to provide upgrades and maintenance on US Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22B Osprey tiltrotors.

The contract modification, worth $146 million, was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on November 4. The modification - awarded by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland - exercises the US Navy's option to upgrade nine MV-22 Osprey's from Block B to Block C configuration. It also includes planned maintenance intervals for eight aircraft under the Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernisation (CC-RAM) programme.

USMC MV-22B Ospreys assigned to Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268) fly over Marine Corps Training Area Bellows in late October 2019. USMC/Sgt Alex Kouns

The majority (91%) of modification work will take place at Boeing Rotorcraft System's facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. The remaining 9% of the work will be conducted in Fort Worth, Texas. As per the contract, all maintenance and modification work is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

The V-22 officially entered operational service with the US military in 2007. Two variants were inducted, the MV-22B Osprey for the US Marine Corps (USMC) and the CV-22B for the US Air Force's Special Operations Command (AFSOC). A third variant is set to join the US Navy in the form of the CMV-22B from 2020, executing carrier onboard delivery (COD) tasks and replacing the Grumman C-2A(R) Greyhounds that currently conduct the role. Japan has also placed an order for five V-22s.

Last month, Bell-Boeing's V-22 programme marked a major operational milestone, with the platform - now in full rate production - surpassing 500,000 flight hours working with the AFSOC and USMC. Follow the hyperlink to read the full story on Key Aero.