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Bell-Boeing awarded $146M for MV-22 aircraft upgrades, maintenance

By
Sommer Brokaw
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey is seen in action during the Forest Light 15 joint military exercise with the 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture in Japan. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey is seen in action during the "Forest Light 15" joint military exercise with the 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture in Japan. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Bell-Boeing has been awarded a $146 million contract for upgrades and maintenance on MV-22 aircraft.

The joint venture between Bell Helicopter and Boeing received the award in a contract modification with the U.S. Navy that the U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday.

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The deal calls for upgrades to nine MV-22 aircraft from the Block B to the Block C configuration, along with maintenance to eight more aircraft as part of the Common Configuration- Readiness and Modernization program.

The Block C variant also has enhanced displays in the cockpit and cabin to improve situational awareness.

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Most of the work will be done in Ridley, Penn., with some also done in Fort Worth, Texas. Work is expected to be completed by March 2022.

The MV-22 is the Marines Corps' variant of the V-22 Osprey. The aircraft uses tilt-rotor technology to offer the vertical flight options of a helicopter, as well as the speed and range abilities of a fixed-wing aircraft, according to Boeing.

The aircraft also has the lowest Class A mishap rate of any tactical rotorcraft in the Marine Corps over the past decade, according to Naval Safety records.

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The V-22 Osprey is a "multirole combat aircraft utilizing tilt-rotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft," according to Boeing.

More than 160 Osprey tilt-rotors are in operation currently, amassing over 130,000 flight hours.

The Navy's "Titans" crews are currently flying and training with Marines Corps-owned MV-22 Ospreys ahead of getting the first Navy aircraft.

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The Navy's variant is the CMV-22B Osprey. Bell Boeing Joint Program Office was awarded a $4 billion contract modification to V-22 tilt-rotor contract last year to build 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the branch. Initial operational capability for CMV-22B is expected in 2021 with full capacity by 2022.

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