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Space Freeing Up for International Orders on V-22 Production Line

Nov. 18, 2013 - 08:31AM   |  
By MARCUS WEISGERBER   |   Comments
V-22 Osprey lands
V-22 production peaked this year at 40 aircraft and will decline in the coming years during the second multiyear procurement arrangement. This frees up space for international orders, Col. Dan Robinson, the US military program manager, said at a Monday briefing at the Dubai air show. (Staff Sgt. Curt Cashour / US Army)
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DUBAI — As the numbers of US military V-22s begin to decline in the coming years, space on for international orders is becoming more available on the Bell-Boeing production line, according to the Marine Corps program manager.

V-22 production peaked this year at 40 aircraft and will decline in the coming years during the second multiyear procurement arrangement. This frees up space for international orders, Col. Dan Robinson, the military program manager, said at a Monday briefing at the Dubai air show.

“[T]here is available capacity,” he said.

The Marines have four MV-22s in Dubai for the air show. The United Arab Emirates is said to be interested in purchasing the tiltrotor, which can take off and land like a helicopter, but fly at high speeds like a fixed-wing aircraft.

Robinson wouldn’t discuss potential customers, but said there is a lot of foreign interest.

“We’re very excited about the interest,” he said.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in October announced that Israel, the only foreign V-22 customer, would have its orders fast tracked.

Sequestration Not an Impact, Yet

US defense spending cuts through sequestration have not impacted V-22 production yet, Robinson said. So far, no aircraft have been removed from production.

“We’re still continuing to deliver aircraft,” he said. “Sequestration, it’s a challenging environment

The program remains a priority for the Marine Corps, despite the budget cuts, Robinson said.

“I’ve been told that from my leadership, so I’m doing everything possible to keep things on track,” he said.

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