The U.S. Navy has ordered the first V-22s for Japan, finalizing the first international sale of the Osprey.
Bell Boeing, the strategic alliance of Bell Helicopter and Boeing that builds the tiltrotor, said July 14 that the Navy had awarded it a $332.5-million modification to its current multi-year contract to cover the first five Block C V-22s for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force under the U.S. foreign military sales program. Japan plans to buy 17 of the V-22s.
Israel has expressed interest in acquiring V-22s, which are operated by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force. The U.S. Navy plans to acquire V-22s starting in 2020 for its carrier onboard delivery mission.
The sale to Japan comes as the V-22â€™s role in international operations grows. The U.S. Marine Corps, for instance, is testing the tiltrotorâ€™s operability with amphibious ships from other nationsâ€™ navies and other sea-basing options, including non-traditional platforms.