The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of the first production CV-22 Osprey at the Bell Helicopter production facility in Amarillo, Texas.
Produced jointly by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company [NYSE: TXT] and The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], the CV-22 is the U.S. Air Force Special Operations variant of the
V-22 and will be used for long-range special operations missions, contingency operations, and evacuations and maritime operations.
"The CV-22 delivers on its promise," said Bob Kenney, Vice President, Bell Boeing V-22 Joint Program Director. "The combination of vertical lift capability, speed and range provides the special operations warfighter with the aircraft necessary to complete long-range missions."
In addition to the standard communications and navigations suite found on all V-22s, the CV-22 has an advanced electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar which permits flight at very low altitude in zero visibility, a retractable aerial refueling probe, four radios and flight engineer seat/crew positions in the cockpit.
The current program calls for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command to field 50 CV-22s to join the global war on terrorism and other special operations missions. Prior to initial operational capability in 2009, the CV-22 will complete developmental testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., followed by initial operational test and evaluation. Then the aircraft will conduct an operational utility evaluation next year.
VMX-22, the U.S. Marine Corps Tiltrotor Test and Evaluation Squadron, recently completed the MV-22 operational test and evaluation, a critical step leading to a full-rate production decision.
Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a $1.6 billion, leading producer of commercial and military helicopters, and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce of over 7,500 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries.
Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company with more than 43,000 employees in nearly 40 countries. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.