Japan Buys Five Ospreys in Boeing’s First Export Deal

000222-N-5221P-001After years of trying, the Navy and Bell Boeing have announced the first foreign sale of the V-22 Ospreys, with five of the tilt-rotor aircraft under contract for delivery to Japan.

The $332.5 million contract for the Block C version of the Osprey included support, training, and equipment to boost the mobility of Japan’s Self-Defenses Force and provide a faster and more agile platform in response to natural disasters, Bell Boeing said in a statement Tuesday.

The five Ospreys were expected to be the first phase in the delivery of a total of 17 of the aircraft to Japan for a total cost of about $3 billion.

“The Bell Boeing team is honored to have Japan as the first international customer for the V-22 tilt-rotor,” said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter.

“This is an important day for the Bell Boeing team in Japan and for the U.S.-Japan alliance,” said Shelley Lavender, president of Boeing Military Aircraft. “The V-22 redefines what’s operationally possible for a country, and we’re looking forward to delivering this capability to Japan.”

For years, the Navy and Bell Boeing have shopped the Osprey to other countries at airshows and other venues, touting its greater range, speed and lift capacity over conventional helicopters, but there were no takers until Japan.

In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a deal to send six Ospreys to Israel, but the arrangement has been on hold over financing.

The MV-22 version of the Osprey has been fielded by the Marine Corps since 2007. Air Force Special Operations currently flies the CV-22 version of the Osprey.

— Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@military.com

About the Author

Richard Sisk
Richard Sisk is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com.

    Thumbs up for the Japanese military!


    Would be interested to know why Israeli financing is/was an issue..

    • duker

      US Military equipment for Israel is normally paid for by US taxpayer, so I guess there is a problem with congress not wanting to spend the money

      • Yup

        shakes head, looking down, kicks rock & watches it tumble in the dirt.

      • Docsenko

        Actually, Israel pays for most of its equipment. Bombs and a few missiles they probably get for free. Israel has a viable economy you know.

        • Dave

          Then why are we giving them money?

          • blight_

            They honestly don’t need our money. The public assurance that we will re-arm their military in two or three days from foreign attack (e.g Operation Nickel Grass) is worth more to their national security than the billion a year we send them.

            Knowing that we will ship them hundreds of tanks, guns, and aircraft in wartime is a powerful deterrent to all enemies. Especially ones that have never been particularly successful, even with the advantage of surprise and near technical parity.

          • Curt

            The bulk of it is part of the Camp David Payoff, I mean Agreement. The US basically paid off the Egyptians and Israelis to quit fighting each other. And it has worked out remarkably well. 48-73: 4 wars in 25 years, 73-now: 0 wars in 42 years with none on the horizon. There is a little that is for specific things like Iron Dome that is a different pot of money.

        • VTGunner

          We give them a whole LOT of money. Those 20 F-35’s they just bought…yeah it was bought with the military aid the US gave them….therefore bought by US taxpayers

    • david

      maybe because the American taxpayer is starting to get tired of footing the bill for Israel, Egypt, Jordan, ect. If you want something bad enough then work for it. that’s what I was taught as a child.

    • blight_asdf

      Perhaps most of the money we give them is already programmed for other spending-thus the Osprey buy would require more funds. I guess the only way to really know would be to read Haaretz or another Israeli news source.

    • blight_asdf

      Scraping the web for information (likely secondhand):

      October 2014 http://news.yahoo.com/israel-backing-us-v-22-airc…

      There were issues afterwards, and Osprey entered holding pattern in December (related to change in power? This happens here in the US too)

      From the second article:

      “Even before the political uproar that dissolved the Knesset, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had declined to seek the required cabinet approval of the Letter of Agreement for Ospreys as part of a budget strategy adopted in the wake of the Gaza war. Ya’alon decided more money should go to ground equipment, and hto keep Israel’s planned purchase of F-35 fighter jets alive. Under that plan, the government decided to split a planned purchase of 31 F-35As into two batches, taking 14 with an option to buy another 17. Given the political situation in Israel, however, all such decisions are up in the air.”

    • OldFedVet1941

      What really amazes me is that all of the rich Jews in American and Europe won’t get off the dime. Israel is going bankrupt because they are surrounded by Muslim extreamist that are dedicated to the destruction of Israel! The Worlds Jews are setting around fat and happy like the fattened cattle awaiting slaughter, will they ever learn?

      • Bob

        Get off your anti-semitic rant!

      • blight_

        Israel is /not/ going bankrupt like we are. Having a large reservist military is cheaper than maintaining a standing one that can intervene anywhere in the planet in 18 hours, then put an armored division or two anywhere in the world in a week, then support ten divisions in two months. /That/ is expensive. Staying close to home is comparatively cheap.

    • Curt

      They re-prioritized their wants and the V-22 dropped off the list.

  • david

    Nice to see a country actually pay for a US aircraft instead of lobbying the American taxpayer to give it too them for free.

  • Nadnerbus

    If my math is right, that is a per-unit cost of sixty six and a half million. Not sure how much the support package accounts for in that unit cost. Expensive, but it does bring a unique capability.

    Which begs the question: Japan is a nation with pacifism in their constitution. Why do they feel the need for a long range, expeditionary combat transport?

    • amauyong

      China looking at some islands nearby…and comparing to ancient maps from previous same ancient no longer existing “China” governments which originally show these islands as belonging to China…never mind it is 100 years ago or 2000 years ago…show on ancient maps…and some inscriptions on stones placed on those islands…so still has right of ownership….odd…kinda nuts to me…like stating cos some of the DNA which is ancient and is in your body…part of your body is mine cos of those DNA…so where will it ends in the end….who knows…zzz

  • JEFF

    I thought Japan was protesting the Marines bringing the Osprey to Japan? Color me confused by this one.

    • Curt

      Okinawans. And it is not so much a protest against the Osprey as a protest against the Marines on Okinawa and the Osprey was a convenient argument.

  • Bob

    You need to keep up with world events. President Bush (and Congress) granted to Japan its petition to move a bit more away from the original conditions set forth in their Constitution immediately after WWII (pacifist state) to a more 21st-century realistic position of maintaining a modern military capability. The petition was granted because Japan (militarily anyway) is a staunch US ally against China.

  • BUD


    • Curt

      Wow, all caps I’m impressed. If you don’t like US Aid to Isreal, just revoke the Camp David Accords. That would get rid of the Egyptian pay off money as well. Until then, the U.S. Is constitutionally obligated to pay. Don’t like it, blame Jimmy and the Senate that was in session back in 77!

    • blight_asdf

      And the defense lobby, since so much of that money is spent on American goods. A lot of that money comes right back to American businesses, so we’re indirectly subsidizing the American economy. The Israeli military gets free stuff, businesses get free business.

      • Curt

        Correction, all of the money comes back to US business, it’s part of the agreement. Well except for things like the Iron Dome batteries which is the U.S. Buying off Israel so they don’t level Gaza.

  • Curt

    Not sure what you use for average. Per the CIA and IMF, per capita income is roughly $54k for the U.S. (Anywhere from 10 to 19) versus $34k for Israel (anywhere from 30-50). If you have some other standard I would like to see a reference.

    • blight_asdf

      You’d also have to normalize for costs of living. And even then, the average skewed by Tel Aviv and Jersualem may be different from someone living in a smaller city (and this is true in the United States as well).