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04:17 AM, July 15, 2015
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Japan approves V-22 Osprey Purchase. Image: Bell Boeing

Bell Boeing was awarded a US Navy contract today for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for Japan.

This marks the first sale of the aircraft through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program.

The contract for the Block C aircraft includes support, training, and equipment. The versatile V-22 tiltrotor will allow Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force greatly enhanced capabilities, while providing an ideal platform for relief efforts in response to natural disasters.

“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 Bell Helicopter. “The distinct performance envelope of the V-22 will provide Japan with an ideal solution when the need arises.”

The V-22 is currently in service with the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force Special Operations Command. This year, the United States Navy announced their decision to procure 44 V-22 aircraft.

“This is an important day for the Bell Boeing team in Japan and for the U.S.-Japan Alliance,” said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft.

The Osprey’s mission capabilities include troop transport, disaster relief, personnel recovery, medical evacuation, logistics support, and executive transport.

Last month, The president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations urged the Japanese and U.S. governments on Wednesday to nullify the plan to deploy Osprey military aircraft to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.

The deployment of CV-22 Osprey to Yokota “will impose a serious threat on the life and property of people in Japan” as the base is located in the middle of a densely populated area, Susumu Murakoshi said in his statement.

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