WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government will spend $10 billion over five years to have 167 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft made, the Department of Defense announced Friday.
The fuselages will be built at the Boeing plant in Ridley Park, Pa., near Philadelphia. Bell Helicopter is to build other components in Fort Worth, Texas, and the final assembly is to be done at the Military Aircraft Assembly Center in Amarillo, Texas.
The contract calls for delivery of 141 Marine versions of the helicopter and 26 Air Force versions by October 2014.
The V-22 Osprey takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an airplane. Some have been deployed to Iraq.
"The V-22 Osprey is a cutting-edge aircraft that has already proven its tremendous worth on the field of battle," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
There have been concerns about its reliability over the years, but it continues to win financial support in Congress.
Bell Helicopter is a division of Textron Inc. The V-22 is a joint venture of Bell and The Boeing Co. It should replace aging, Vietnam-era CH-46E helicopters.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.