At Modern Day Marine 2019 in Quantico, Bell Boeing officials updated MON on the concurrent efforts in progress in the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) MV-22 OSPREY programme, and with other US DoD V-22 operators, to keep the fleets mission-ready and operational well beyond the next decade.
In one instance, OSPREYs are still being delivered to the Marine Corps. Of the funded programme of record (360 aircraft), 326 had been delivered to USMC as of this July.
A separate activity underway in the USMC MV-22 OSPREY fleet is the Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernisation (CC-RAM) initiative, designed to reduce the number of configurations in the fleet to a handful, in hopes of streamlining maintenance times and improving reliability. Bell Boeing officials explained “The Marine Corps has undertaken the effort to upgrade 129 ‘Block B’ OSPREYs, which ceased production in late 2011, to the standard currently rolling off the line of ‘Block C’ aircraft. Based on the current difference in readiness rates between Blocks B and C aircraft, Boeing expects to see a marked improvement in the mission-capable rate of OSPREYs that go through CC-RAM.”
In January, Bell Boeing was awarded the Performance-based Logistics & Engineering (PBL&E) contract, which includes site activation, maintenance planning, training and trainer support and dedicated field personnel for all V-22 squadrons around the globe. The industry team officials noted that, under this contract, Bell Boeing has the flexibility to incorporate data analytics into maintenance efforts, yielding innovative approaches such as predictive and condition-based maintenance to improve aircraft availability and readiness. “Bell Boeing supports three US military customers: the US Marine Corps flying the MV-22; the US Air Force Special Operations Command operating the CV-22; and the US Navy, which will fly the CMV-22. The Bell Boeing team supports more than 350 aircraft under various flexible contractual arrangements. Bell Boeing has supported the V-22 OSPREY since its development and inception, leveraging OEM expertise to focus on improving aircraft maintainability and readiness – top priorities for the government customer. The most recent contract award builds on Bell Boeing’s support legacy,” officials stated. Also in the OSPREY logistics enterprise, Bell Boeing has in force a supply chain contract, which includes the purchase, repair, stocking and delivery for more than 200 part numbers.
Asked to identify a specific materiel enhancement the fleets are receiving, the officials pointed to a nacelle improvement effort underway that could achieve a marked improvement in the mission-capable rate for the V-22 fleet for the Marines and the Air Force Special Operations Command. “The upgraded nacelle will have a new structure with new wiring, fewer wiring interface boxes and additional space for maintenance purposes." All work on this enhancement will be completed not later than 2020.