Bell-Boeing awarded dual contracts for V-22 support

By James LaPorta  |  Dec. 28, 2017 at 10:42 AM
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Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded two modified contracts to Bell-Boeing in support of the V-22 Osprey, both of which cover software updates and sustainment for the tiltrotor aircraft.

The terms of the deal were announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense.

In total, Bell-Boeing will be awarded more than $33.3 million under the terms of cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order contracts, which are cost-reimbursement agreements between the Navy and Bell-Boeing that potentially could provide additional funds if there are overrun costs during work.

The reimbursement fee is generally negotiated at the inception of a contract.

The V-22 Osprey is a multirole combat aircraft with both fixed-wing and rotary-wing capabilities that was developed after the failed 1980 mission during the Iran hostage crisis. The aircraft was primarily developed by the U.S. Marine Corps, and entered use in 2007.

The two contracts ultimately tap Bell-Boeing to provide V-22 fleet software sustainment, engineering and technical support for the on-board flight control systems and avionics software, along with other such requests as aircraft performance testing and software integration quality control checks.

Additionally, Bell-Boeing will provide "mission management and flight control software updates" in order to facilitate more situational awareness to flights crews, especially during brown-out conditions, according to the Pentagon.

A "brown-out" is in-flight visibility restriction due to environmental factors such as dust or sand in the air, which is common in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where the V-22 has seen action.

Work on the contracts will occur in Ridley Park, Pa., and Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed by December 2019.

More than $33.3 million from the combined value of the contracts will be obligated to Bell-Boeing at the time of the award, with $30.1 million of the totality of the funds obligated will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

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