Bell Boeing delivered the first V-22 Osprey to Camp Kisarazu in Japan on July 10. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) is the first operator of the V-22 outside of the U.S. military.
“The delivery of the first Japanese V-22 is an important milestone and represents our strong partnership with the Government of Japan,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and Bell Boeing deputy program director. “The Osprey’s ability to carry out the toughest missions in the most challenging operating environments will reshape what is possible for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force.”
The V-22 can conduct multiple missions not possible with traditional rotorcraft or fixed-wing aircraft, improving mission efficiency and reducing logistic costs. Japan’s V-22 has a unique configuration with a customer-specific communication system. The marinized design resists corrosion and reduces the cost of long-term maintenance. JGSDF service members have been training with U.S. Marines for the last month to gain aircraft proficiency before delivery of their first V-22.
“We have had the pleasure of working with the JGSDF state-side to produce, develop, train and maintain their initial fleet of aircraft,” said Marine Corps Col. Matthew Kelly, program manager for the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275). “This arrival marks a key step in standing up its V-22 fleet, and more importantly, the continued collaboration between our nations.”
Japan joins the United States Marines, Navy, and Air Force in operating the V-22. These aircraft support multiple missions, including the transportation of personnel, supplies, and equipment; humanitarian support and search and rescue missions; long-range personnel recovery. With more than 500,000 flight hours, the V-22 is one of the most in-demand platforms in military aviation, providing safe, survivable, combat-proven mission success only capable with the tiltrotor range, speed and versatility of the Osprey.