Friday, May 7, 2010

Boeing To Pitch V-22 Multiyear Offer To Pentagon


Boeing is preparing to offer the Pentagon another multiyear deal for the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors used by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, company officials announced.

"We're fully pursuing a second multiyear on the V-22," Boeing's V-22 program manager, Gene Cunningham, said May 4 during a news conference at a Navy League-sponsored conference in Maryland. "We're working with our industry partners to put together the right business case" so the offer could be considered for the 2013 budget.

The deal could include a foreign buyer or other U.S. government agencies, Cunningham said.

He gave no specific quantities of aircraft, but said the deal would likely include the last seven of the Air Force's 50 CV-22s.

The company is determining what impact these additional customers will have on the V-22 production line, which is gearing up to build 40 tilt-rotors per year for the Pentagon by 2014.

Boeing is in its third year of a half-decade multiyear contract for the V-22.

Cunningham also announced that Boeing's V-22 program will respond to the Pentagon's request for information (RfI) for the V-XX Marine One helicopter replacement program.

"We plan to respond to the RfI because it is a vertical program and that seem to have value in terms of the V-22," Cunningham said.

This comes as Boeing is working with the Marines and Air Force to find ways to improve the tilt-rotor's roughly 70 percent reliability rate. The firm is working with suppliers to redesign some parts that are wearing out faster than expected in harsh operating environments, Cunningham said.

NavAir hopes to reach an 85 percent reliability rate for its MV-22s by 2018, said Col. Greg Masiello, NavAir's joint V-22 program manager.


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