The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office a $182.2 million contract modification for the delivery of an additional two Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
The AFSOC variant of the Osprey is known as CV-22B and is used for special operations forces long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply mission.
According to a US Air Force fact file on the CV-22B, the service expected to receive a total of 54 CV-22 aircraft by the end of 2021. The latest contract modification brings the total number of aircraft bought to 56.
The additional two airframes are to be delivered by March 2025, according to the Pentagon contract announcement.
Bell-Boeing is building different variants of the V-22 Osprey for the US Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF).
The CV-22 was first delivered to AFSOC in January 2007 and achieved initial operational capability in 2009. The aircraft replaced the special operations forces MH-53 helicopters in 2008.
The contract from March 18 includes funds for post-production repairs in support of the MV-22B Common Configuration Readiness and Modernization Program for the navy, which will introduce more commonality across the Osprey fleet.
A contract from January 2021 is also addressing the nacelle maintenance issues that eat up approximately 60 percent of maintenance man hours conducted on the aircraft. The V-22 nacelles house the power and propulsion components of the aircraft, which are crucial for giving the V-22 its unique ability to fly vertically and horizontally.