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First two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for JGSDF arrive in Japan

The first two Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft on order for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) have arrived at US Marine Corps (USMC) Air Station Iwakuni in Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture, a JGSDF spokesperson told Jane’s on 11 May.

The two platforms, which bear serial numbers ‘91701’ and ‘91705’, arrived on Japanese soil on 8 May and are part of an initial five MV-22B Block C Ospreys ordered by Tokyo in mid-2015 for USD332.5 million.

The spokesperson said the two Ospreys will be transferred to JGSDF Camp Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture in late June or later, pointing out, however, that it is not yet clear when the remaining three aircraft of the first batch will be delivered.

At least two of these first five Ospreys – bearing serial numbers ‘91702’ and ‘91703’ – have been used since May 2019 to train JGSDF pilots at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

The USMC released images on 8 May showing the arrival in Japan of the first two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft on order for the JGSDF.

In May 2015 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified US lawmakers that Tokyo had requested the procurement of up to 17 of these aircraft and 40 Rolls‐Royce engines in a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) worth an estimated USD3 billion. In July 2015 the Pentagon announced that Bell Boeing had been awarded the deal to manufacture and deliver the first five platforms.

The first two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft on order for the JGSDF arrived in Japan on 8 May. Tokyo has ordered a total of 17 of these platforms.

In July 2016 the Pentagon announced that Tokyo ordered an additional four MV-22Bs. According to the contract notification issued at the time, the FMS portion of the award was valued at USD302.9 million. Japan also ordered a simulator – the MV‐22 Tiltrotor Containerised Flight Training Device – valued at about USD9.6 million.

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