A prominent contingent of three Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors has descended on Singapore for the airshow to highlight the type’s significant capabilities, which combine the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft with the mobility and no-runway operations of a helicopter. With production capability becoming available from next year, the manufacturers and U.S. Navy program office are keen to secure export orders for the type.
Current stated U.S. requirements for the V-22 family cover 360 MV-22s for the Marine Corps (238 delivered to date), 50 CV-22s for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (34 delivered) and 48 for the U.S. Navy. However, the latter may appear in the yet-to-be-signed third multi-year procurement contract.
Production at the moment is in the last year of the first multi-year contract. MYP II from 2015 to 2019 is set to deliver 100 aircraft (93 MV-22s and seven CV-22s) to U.S. forces. This is a VIQ (variation in quantity) contract, which leaves spare production capacity for export sales under an already contracted pricing structure. Israel has ordered the type and Japan has budgeted to acquire 17. The un-contracted MYP III is likely to include the final 22 aircraft needed to meet the full Marines requirements.
In the meantime, Bell Boeing and the current users are examining future applications for the Osprey to take advantage of the type’s capabilities. One role being given consideration is that of a gunship, a project being managed by U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.