Texas will share in Osprey contract

March 28, 2008 5:55:55 PM PDT
Texas will share in a $10 billion contract for Bell Boeing Joint Project Office to manufacture 167 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the Department of Defense announced Friday. Half of the work will be done in Ridley Park, Pa. and the rest will be done in Amarillo and Fort Worth, the DOD said in its announcement.

The contract calls for delivery of 141 Marine versions of the helicopter and 26 Air Force versions by October 2014.

The V-22 Osprey takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an airplane. Some have been deployed to Iraq.

"The V-22 Osprey is a cutting-edge aircraft that has already proven its tremendous worth on the field of battle," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

There have been concerns about its reliability over the years, but it continues to win financial support in Congress.

Bell Helicopter is a division of Textron Inc. The V-22 is a joint venture of Bell and The Boeing Co. It should replace aging, Vietnam-era CH-46E helicopters.