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By Matthew Montgomery
DCMA Public Affairs
While much of the nation was shutting down and restructuring to deal with COVID-19, Defense Contract Management Agency personnel at the Bell Textron contract management office were making history.
The Texas team members delivered the 400th V-22 to the Department of Defense, the first CMV-22 delivery to the Navy and the first CV-22 to Air Force Special Operations Command, all in June.
“It was a busy month,” said Navy Capt. Frank Bennett, DCMA Bell Textron commander. “Our team really went above and beyond ensuring the delivery of multiple variants of the V-22 to the warfighter. What makes this so unique is the number of firsts the CMO was able to accomplish in a single month. The 400th V-22 would be impressive on its own, but also delivering the first Navy and Air Force variants was unique in many ways.”
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the V-22 is a unique program due to maneuverability. It is an aircraft that takes off, hovers, and lands like a helicopter yet flies long distances like a turboprop aircraft. It can be modified based on the unique needs of the customer. For example:
In a press release marking the program’s milestone, Marine Corps Col. Matthew Kelly said, “It’s been more than 20 years since the first production V-22 was delivered, and we are proud to reach another milestone in our 400th delivery. V-22s continue to be in high demand, protecting our country and our allies around the world through combat operations, international training partnerships, and humanitarian missions.”
Kelly is the program manager for the V-22 Joint Program Office, known as PMA-275. The Marines received the first production V-22 more than 20 years ago, while the most recent delivery was to the Air Force Special Operations Command.
“This platform’s impact can’t be overstated … and has decades remaining to its service life,” said Kelly. “We are focused on keeping it a relevant, reliable and effective well into the future.”
Deliveries will continue under a multi-year procurement III contract, valued at $5 billion through 2024. The contract includes all variants of the aircraft: Marine, Air Force and Navy.
Additionally, on July 14, Japan received the first international variant of the V-22. According to Naval Air Systems Command, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force procured the V-22 in 2015 through foreign military sales to “modernize its transport fleet and support its defense and special mission needs.” The V-22s will also support Japan’s humanitarian and disaster relief missions in the future.
Kelly said with the V-22 expected to be in service beyond 2040, capability enhancements and readiness initiatives are program priorities, to include digital interoperability, nacelle improvements, and fleet modernization efforts.
“The dedication of the entire team here can’t be overstated,” said Air Force Maj. Steve Kohut, DCMA Bell Textron government flight representative. “They have come together to put out a quality product for the defense department.”
According to DCMA check pilot, Navy Lt. Richard Hoyt, the V-22 is an engineering marvel and an aviator’s dream to fly. “Its ability to operate in both helicopter and airplane flight regimes really widens the envelope of mission possibilities this aircraft can accomplish. The opportunity to fly such a cutting edge aircraft and work together with some of the most seasoned V-22 experts in the industry to bring the best possible finished product to the warfighter is an absolute privilege.”
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