Israel will receive six Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel confirmed. They will come out of “the next order to go on the assembly line,” he added, with delivery within two years. The V-22s are being built under multi-year contracts, the latest of which was signed earlier this year.
Hagel did not specify whether the Ospreys will be MV-22 versions, as operated by the U.S. Marine Corps, or CV-22 versions, as operated by the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. The Pentagon said that the Ospreys for Israel “will be modified to meet specific requirements of the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces).” Israeli pilots have already flown the V-22 and its simulator at MCAS New River, N.C.
A number of other countries have been briefed on the Osprey’s capabilities. Boeing views other countries in the Middle East as near-term prospects. Four aircraft have flown to the UAE for display at next week’s Dubai Airshow.