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Boeing V-22 line may close in 2025

US marines filing into an MV-22 on USS Kearsarge off the coast of North Carolina during Exercise ‘Bold Alligator' in 2012. (Janes/Mike Fabey)

Boeing's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania V-22 factory, which produces the fuselage and other major equipment for the joint Bell-Boeing tiltrotor aircraft, may close as soon as 2025, according to a Boeing official.

Discussions have begun about closing the assembly line, said Shane Openshaw, Boeing's programme manager for the V-22, on 23 May. “We're starting to have those conversations subject to additional orders coming in the pipeline,” he said. “I would project probably two more years [of assembly].”

The assembly line also converts Block B V-22s to Block C, upgrading processors, wiring harnesses, and electrical components and reducing subvariants from about 72 to 5, according to Openshaw.

The US Navy (USN) in February released a solicitation for “non-recurring engineering to support the V-22 production line shut down,” disclosing that the Bell-Boeing joint venture that produced the tiltrotor would be awarded the contract. The solicitation did not include a public timeframe for the closure.

There are 36 tiltrotors yet to build, Openshaw said, and 25 to be upgraded to Block C. Outstanding orders include CMV-22s, which are replacing the USN's Northrop Grumman C-2s in the carrier onboard delivery role.

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