Bell Helicopter has announced today that the V-22 fleet of tiltrotor aircraft, including both CV-22 and MV-22 variants, has surpassed the 400,000-flight hour milestone.
The company say that the V-22 Osprey has been continuously deployed since entering service in 2007 with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in 2009.
The aircraft has seen extensive action in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as part of a U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) supporting a long-range rapid reaction/crisis response force.
The MV-22B Osprey are operating all around the globe today, transforming the way the Marine Corps conducts assault support, humanitarian relief operations and the broad spectrum of MAGTF missions
“As the number of flight hours indicate, the V-22 Osprey is a mature platform that projects a versatile mission capability for military operations as well as humanitarian relief efforts” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Matthew Kelly, V-22 Joint Program Manager.
“This 400,000-flight hour milestone is an incredible testament to the V-22’s leap-ahead capability and is a tribute to the men and women of Bell Helicopter and Boeing who build and support tiltrotor aircraft,” said Vince Tobin, executive vice president of Military Programs at Bell Helicopter.
“The Osprey brings unprecedented range, speed and survivability to the warfighter and will continue to excel in combat and in executing some of the most difficult humanitarian operations.”
“The versatile V-22 Osprey is in demand and indispensable among commanders worldwide,” said Kristin Houston, vice president, Boeing Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program.
The V-22 Osprey has had nine hull-loss accidents with a total of 39 fatalities. During testing from 1991 to 2000, there were four crashes resulting in 30 fatalities.
Since becoming operational in 2007, the V-22 has had five crashes resulting in nine fatalities, and several minor incidents. The aircraft’s accident history has generated some controversy over its perceived safety issues.