First Ospreys for Japan

The Navy awarded a Bell Helicopter, Textron, and Boeing team a contract for five V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for Japan, according to a July 14 Bell Boeing release. The contract marks the first foreign military sale of the aircraft. “The Bell Boeing team is honored to have Japan as the first international customer for the V-22 tiltrotor,” said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of military business for the alliance. “When assets are required on target in a location without an airstrip, the self-deployable Osprey provides customers an unrivaled combination of speed, range, and payload to execute a variety of missions,” including troop transport, disaster relief, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, logistics support, and executive transport. The State Department in May approved a $3 billion FMS for up to 17 V-22B Block C Ospreys as well as associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for Japan. “The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Japan is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region,” states a release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “It is vital to the US national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”