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Bell Boeing signs $85.7M contract to upgrade four Osprey aircraft

By Allen Cone
Bell Boeing signs $85.7M contract to upgrade four Osprey aircraft
A V-22 Osprey makes its final approach for landing on the island of Crete for a stopover on February 24, 2010. Photo by photo by Paul Farley/U.S. Navy

March 11 (UPI) -- Bell Boeing signed a $85.7 million contract to reconfigure four V-22 Osprey aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

The joint venture of Boeing and Textron's Bell Helicopter subsidiary will modify Block B MV-22 Osprey units into Block C vehicles and a maintenance interval effort for one tiltrotor aircraft, the Department of Defense said Friday.

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The work is in support of the military's Common Configuration Readiness and Modernization Program.

The project is expected to be completed in March 3032. Ninety-three percent of the work will be performed in Ridley Park, Penn., and the remaining 7 percent in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Naval fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 aircraft procurement and 2019 operation and maintenance funds in the full amount will be obligated at time of award, including $22.3 million of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

In January, Bel Boeing signed a $143.9 million contract for V-22 Osprey performance-based logistics and engineering support as well as support for the Navy's CMV-22B variant. The 11-month base contract has four one-year options.

The V-22 Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft. In 2012, the Marines first received the first aircraft.

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With two pilots and two crew members, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter with its rotors in vertical position. And once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of flight with a maximum speed of 270 knots, 879-nautical range and 25,000-foot altitude. Its lift capability is 523,600 pounds, according to Boeing.

More than 200 V-22 Ospreys are already in the operational fleet, according to Boeing.

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