September 28, 2005
Textron's Bell Helicopter Granted Approval for
Full Rate Production of V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor
Providence, RI & Fort Worth, TX, USA ( Bell Boeing Program Office Press Release) -
Marking a major
milestone in aviation, Textron Inc. today announced that its
Bell Helicopter unit has been granted approval by the United States Defense
Department for Full Rate Production (FRP) of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
tiltrotor aircraft. Current plans include the delivery of 360 aircraft to
the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), 50 for the U.S. Air Force and 48 for the U.S.
Navy. The total program is worth in excess of $19 billion to Bell and
Textron through 2018.
With FRP, the U.S. Government has authorized Bell and Boeing (NYSE: BA) to
increase current low-rate production of 11 aircraft per year up to 48.
Today's FRP decision by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) follows the
successful completion of extensive Operational Evaluation testing, conducted
last summer by the USMC.
This revolutionary tiltrotor technology combines fixed-wing airplane and
vertical lift capabilities into one efficient and extremely capable aircraft
that can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane,
providing military customers with significant improvements in combat
capabilities - including speeds and range two to three times more than that
of conventional helicopters, as well as increased payloads, survivability
"The V-22 Osprey is an unprecedented feat in aviation and an excellent
example of how our investments in innovation are fueling organic growth for
Textron," said Lewis B. Campbell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Textron. "Bell's tiltrotor technology is enabling new
capabilities and more operational flexibility for our military customers
never before thought possible and will undoubtedly take 21st Century flight
to a new dimension. So much so that the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) is creating an entirely new class of aircraft specifically for the
"Now that we are authorized for full rate production, U.S. Forces will soon
have the most versatile aircraft in the world - which will provide a
tremendous advantage in the face of ever-changing future combat challenges
around the globe," said Michael A. Redenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of
Bell Helicopter. "Not only is this a pivotal moment for Bell and the
literally thousands of employees who helped bring the V-22 to life, but
today we mark a truly game-changing advancement in the aviation industry.
With this decision, tiltrotor technology has come to life in a big way."
"In addition, today's FRP decision provides us with an opportunity to
deliver on our customer commitment to produce the aircraft in the most
efficient, cost-effective way possible, ultimately bringing costs down,"
added Redenbaugh. "And while there's a lot of work to be done, we have the
talent, resources and infrastructure in place to achieve this goal."
Redenbaugh also noted that Bell expects to reach in excess of $1.5 billion
in annual V-22 revenue in 2012 when the program reaches planned capacity of
48 aircraft per year.
The initial Ospreys, called "MV-22s" will be delivered to the USMC for use
in combat assault. Each Osprey can carry 24 Marines with full combat gear.
The Air Force version of the tiltrotor, called the "CV-22," is a Special
Operations aircraft designed for the long range insertion and removal of
special teams. Other mission critical capabilities for the V-22 include
combat search-and-rescue, aerial refueling and anti-submarine warfare.
With potential future foreign and domestic military sales and the
possibilities for next generation tiltrotor development - tiltrotor
technology continues to be an important growth area for the company. Earlier
this month the Bell Boeing team was awarded a research contract by the U.S.
Army to perform conceptual design and analysis of its next generation
tiltrotor technology called the "Quad Tiltrotor" aircraft for the Army's
Joint Heavy Lift program.
Tiltrotor technology is also expected to play a significant role in
commercial applications such as emergency disaster relief and emergency
medical evacuation, regional passenger/cargo transport, search-and-rescue,
offshore oil field support and anti-drug efforts, via the company's
development of a civil tiltrotor aircraft, which is currently undergoing
Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a leading provider of
commercial and military helicopters and the pioneer of the revolutionary
tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and
superior quality, Bell's global workforce of more than 7,500 employees
serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries.
Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company with more than 44,000
employees in 40 countries. The company leverages its global network of
aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with
innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its
powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex,
Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others.
Forward-looking Information: Certain statements in this report and other
oral and written statements made by Textron from time to time are
forward-looking statements, including those that discuss strategies, goals,
outlook or other non-historical matters; or project revenues, income,
returns or other financial measures. These forward-looking statements speak
only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation
to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking
statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual
results to differ materially from those contained in the statements,
including the following: [a] the extent to which Textron is able to achieve
savings from its restructuring plans; [b] uncertainty in estimating the
amount and timing of restructuring charges and related costs; [c] changes in
worldwide economic and political conditions that impact interest and foreign
exchange rates; [d] the occurrence of work stoppages and strikes at key
facilities of Textron or Textron's customers or suppliers; [e] Textron's
ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with
the U.S. Government; [f] the U.S. Government's ability to unilaterally
modify or terminate its contracts with Textron for the Government's
convenience or for Textron's failure to perform, to change applicable
procurement and accounting policies, and, under certain circumstances, to
suspend or debar Textron as a contractor eligible to receive future contract
awards; [g] changes in national or international funding priorities and
government policies on the export and import of military and commercial
products; [h] the adequacy of cost estimates for various customer care
programs including servicing warranties; [i] the ability to control costs
and successful implementation of various cost reduction programs; [j] the
timing of certifications of new aircraft products; [k] the occurrence of
slowdowns or downturns in customer markets in which Textron products are
sold or supplied or where Textron Financial offers financing; [l] changes in
aircraft delivery schedules or cancellation of orders; [m] the impact of
changes in tax legislation; [n] the extent to which Textron is able to pass
raw material price increases through to customers or offset such price
increases by reducing other costs; [o] Textron's ability to offset, through
cost reductions, pricing pressure brought by original equipment manufacturer
customers; [p] Textron's ability to realize full value of receivables and
investments in securities; [q] the availability and cost of insurance; [r]
increases in pension expenses related to lower than expected asset
performance or changes in discount rates; [s] Textron Financial's ability to
maintain portfolio credit quality; [t] Textron Financial's access to debt
financing at competitive rates; [u] uncertainty in estimating contingent
liabilities and establishing reserves to address such contingencies; [v]
performance of acquisitions; and [w] the efficacy of research and
development investments to develop new products.
News: MV-22 resume flight testing ( Feb 28, 2002 )