V-22 Osprey: The Multi-Year Buys, 2008-2017
April 26/18: VARS testing The US Naval Air Systems Command has confirmed that the V-22 Aerial Refueling System (VARS) will start testing this fall. According to a US Marine Corps statement published by the Marine Corps Times, VARS-equipped Ospreys will be capable of providing an additional 10,000 pounds of fuel to aircraft forward deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units, extending the range of aircraft such as the F-35B and other V-22s. The Corps expects its new refueling system to be operational by fiscal year 2019 and will be welcomed by the Corps as troops are being shifted across the Pacific—nearly nine thousand Marines are being moved off Okinawa, Japan, where they will be disbursed to other locations like Guam and Hawaii. Furthermore, the USMC is kicking off its largest deployment yet to Darwin Australia, at nearly 1,587 Marines as part of its annual six-month rotation.
In March 2008, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $10.4 billion modification that converted the previous N00019-07-C-0001 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee, multi-year contract. The new contract rose to $10.92 billion, and was used to buy 143 MV-22 (for USMC) and 31 CV-22 (Air Force Special Operations) Osprey aircraft, plus associated manufacturing tooling to move the aircraft into full production. A follow-on MYP-II contract covered another 99 Ospreys (92 MV-22, 7 CV-22) for $6.524 billion. Totals: $17.444 billion for 235 MV-22s and 38 CV-22s, an average of $63.9 million each.
The V-22 tilt-rotor program has been beset by controversy throughout its 20-year development period. Despite these issues, and the emergence of competitive but more conventional compound helicopter technologies like Piasecki’s X-49 Speedhawk and Sikorsky’s X2, the V-22 program continues to move forward. This DID Spotlight article looks at the V-22’s multi-year purchase contract from 2008-12 and 2013-2017, plus associated contracts for key V-22 systems, program developments, and research sources.
The V-22 Program
MV-22 vs. CV-22
V-22 Budgets & Buys
Contracts & Key Events
Background: V-22 and Key Systems
News & Views
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