Slots Available For V-22 Exports
In June this year the second multi-year procurement contract was signed for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It will deliver 93 MV-22s for the Marine Corps and seven more CV-22s for the US Air Force over the course of five years. With the current annual rate of production running at around 40 aircraft, that means that in the near future there will be considerable production capacity available for foreign military sales (FMS) as deliveries to the U.S. military drop off.
Currently, the U.S. requirement for the Osprey stands at 360 for the Marines and 50 for the Air Force special operations command, of which around 220 and 40 have been delivered, respectively. The U.S. Navy wants 48 for the carrier onboard delivery mission, but that order is still to be placed. Exports are being sought within the FMS framework, and interest in the Gulf is high. This interest not only encompasses regular military roles, but also VIP transport duties, for which the V-22 is now being used by the U.S. presidential transport support unit.
In Marine service the Osprey has recently made the news to highlight its emergency disaster relief capability. Under Operation Damayan, 12 aircraft self-deployed from Iwakuni in Japan to the area of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In another move, six V-22s have been based at Morón air base near Madrid since April as part of a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force for crisis response in the Mediterranean theater and North Africa.