Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Bell Helicopter Textron has received three contracts totaling $80.5 million for V-22 PRGB right hand, left hand and platform hub aircraft assembly parts for the U.S. Navy.
Work on the awards, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, will be performed in Texas with estimated completion dates of April 2024 for the left and right handed parts, and two separate dates of October 2025 and April 2026 for platform hub assembly.
The V-22 Osprey is the primary assault support aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps. It has a unique design that uses twin rotor engines for vertical take-off and landing that can be tilted forward for conventional turboprop flight, allowing much higher speed and endurance than conventional helicopters.
It can carry 24 fully equipped Marines and has a range of nearly 600 miles, greatly exceeding conventional helicopters. It also forms part of the U.S. President's HMX-1 squadron for transporting staff and equipment.
A Navy aircraft carrier and sea base supply and personnel delivery version called the CMV-22B with longer range and cargo capacity is also under development. It is designed to replace the 1960's era C-2 Greyhound transport plane for carrier resupply and is currently in production.