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V-22 stirs international interest

Dec. 5, 2011 at 8:00 AM

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The V-22 Osprey, used by the US. Marines and Air Force Special Operations Command is attracting foreign military interest.

Bell Helicopter, which builds the aircraft with Boeing, drew attention when shown at the Dubai Air Show last month and information on it has been requested by several governments.

"The V-22 Osprey received significant interest at the Dubai Airshow from potential customers from around the world," said John Rader, executive director of the Bell Boeing V-22 Program.

"It is clear the V-22 is the right solution for those seeking range, speed, payload and operational efficiency for military and humanitarian operations."

The V-22 Osprey is a multi-role aircraft that combines tiltrotor technology with the vertical performance of a fixed-wing aircraft. It can takeoff, land and hover like a helicopter and fly like a turboprop.

The aircraft has achieved about 125,000 flight hours with the U.S. military, with the Marines and Air Force operating 10 Osprey squadrons.

"The V-22 was very well received by the international community in Dubai," said U.S. Marine Col. Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office at the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command. "With its unprecedented range, speed and survivability, the Osprey is perfectly suited to many of the missions that Middle Eastern forces require."

Bell Boeing said the company is working on follow-up visits to countries that expressed interest in the aircraft.

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