PATUXENT RIVER, Md., June 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has given the Boeing Bell alliance as $6.5 billion contract to produce and deliver 99 V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft.
Naval Air Systems Command, which issued the contract, said the award is structured to save the government $1 billion as compared to single-year orders.
"Signing this contract speaks volumes towards the confidence our services have in the V-22 Osprey," said Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 Joint Program Office program manager.
"Since 2007, the V-22 has been continuously forward-deployed in a range of combat, humanitarian and special operations roles. Ospreys continue to transform our Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force and Air Force Special Operations by enabling missions not possible with conventional aircraft, and helped save lives where others could not."
The Navy said 92 MV-22 models of the aircraft are for the U.S. Marine Corps and seven CV-22 models are for the Special Operations Command of the U.S. Air force.
The contract also contains a provision for procurement of 23 additional aircraft, the Navy said.
The Osprey is a multirole combat aircraft that uses tiltrotor technology to combine the speed and range of a fixed-wing airplane with the vertical performance of a helicopter.
"The versatile V-22 Osprey is the ideal aircraft for an era when global militaries are being asked to do more with less," said Vince Tobin, executive director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program. "It gives operators the ability to achieve groundbreaking operational efficiencies and maximize the use of precious resources like time, money and personnel.
"This contract will enable us to most efficiently build and deliver this aircraft to current and future customers around the world."