An US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey taxis after landing at MCAS on August 12, 2013. The tilt-rotor aircraft succeed the CH-46E helicopters. The Ospreys can fly twice as fast, carry three times as much and fly four times the distance of the older CH-46E helicopter it is replacing. (Image © Lance Cpl. Stephen Himes / USMC)

First Japanese Ospreys officially ordered

As expected the first batch of five Bell (/Boeing) V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft have been ordered by the US Navy on behalf of Japan on 14 July 2015. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is likely to order a total of 17 of the transport and special mission machines through the US Foreign Military Sales program, as was made public in May this year.

The V-22 demonstrating its firing capability in November 2014 at the Yuma range in Arizona (Image © Bell Helicopter)
PRESS PLAY: Osprey as forward killer
According to the US State Department, the proposed sale of V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft will enhance the JGSDF’s humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations.

With the US Air Force Special Operations Command (33 aircraft in service of planned 50) and the US Marines (about 170 in service of 360 aircraft planned) already flying the Osprey, Japan becomes the first export customer of the V-22 – with Israel expecting as the next with a possible order for six V-22s.

The Japanese deal comes months after the US Navy choose the Osprey over a normal fixed wing aircraft as its new carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft and made a deal for 44 V-22s.

© 2015 editor Marcel Burger, incl. source information provided by Bell Textron
Featured image: The Osprey is no stranger to Japan. Her a US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey taxis after landing at MCAS Futenma on August 12, 2013. (Image © Lance Cpl. Stephen Himes / USMC)