Fueled by an addition to an existing defense contract, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey team has joined forces with the U.S. Marines to improve the reliability and readiness of the fleet of Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing Joint Program Office was awarded contract modification worth slightly more than $69 million to upgrade three existing MV-22 aircraft (see figure) in support of the V-22 Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) Program.
The majority of the upgrade work will be performed at Boeing’s facility in Philadelphia. “The CC-RAM program is the cornerstone for MV-22 long term sustainment and affordability,” noted Colonel Matthew Kelly, V-22 joint program manager. “We look forward to the supportability benefits this program will provide as the MV-22 continues to effectively deliver Marines into and out of harm’s way.”
Three Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft are being modified as part of a contract modification, resulting in a higher-performance Osprey fleet with less aircraft configurations. (Courtesy of Boeing)
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a joint service combat aircraft that combines the functions of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft. It can take off and land in the tight spaces of a helicopter but, once airborne, can achieve the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The U.S. Marines have multiple configurations of the V-22 aircraft, jointly produced by Bell Helicopter and Boeing. The different configurations are denoted by different block letters, and this upgrade program will help to simplify the fleet by modifying block “B” aircraft to the block “C” configuration.
“Our team is ready to take the MV-22 program into the future,” said Kristin Houston, vice president for the the Boeing Tiltrotor programs and program director for the Bell Boeing V-22 program, explained the significance of the program. “Our integrated approach to managing CC-RAM will extend V-22 service life for the Marines and provide modernized technical capabilities to dedicated servicemen and women around the world.”