A V-22 Osprey makes its final approach for landing on the island of Crete for a stopover on February 24, 2010. Photo by Paul Farley/U.S. Navy
May 17 (UPI) -- Bell Boeing was awarded a $42.2 million contract for engineering and technical support for the V-22 Osprey flight control system and on-aircraft avionics for the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force.
The contract includes fleet software sustainment, the U.S. Defense Department announced Thursday.
The V-22 is built jointly by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
Ninety-three percent of the work will be performed at Boeing's plant in Ridley Park, Pa., and the remaining 7 percent at Bell's plant in Fort Worth, Texas. Work is expected to be completed in June 2021.
Funding in the amount of $38.5 million will be obligated at the time of award, $10.2 million of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval and Air Force fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 aircraft procurement funds; both branches' 2019 operations and maintenance funds; and Air Force fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation will be allocated.
This modification combines purchases for the Marine Corps of $25.5 million and the Air Force of $13 million.
The V-22 is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, blending the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with an airplane's speed, range, altitude and endurance.
"This unique combination provides the warfighter with an unprecedented advantage," Bell Helicopter said on its website. "This allows more effective mission execution and realization of missions previously unachievable in one aircraft."
The company said the Osprey "has proven to be a survivable and transformational platform in the most challenging environments on the planet."
It was deemed ready for deployment in 2007, serving missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait. It replaced the RCH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
At twice the speed of helicopter, 306 miles per hour, the Osprey can carry 24 combat troops.