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V-22 Cleared for OPEVAL

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From http://www.defence-aerospace.com


V-22 Cleared to Begin Operational Evaluation

Source: Bell Helicopter; issued March 2, 2005


FORT WORTH, Texas --- The Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) testing program for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has now been approved. On February 24, Tom Laux, the Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault, and Special Mission Programs, certified that the V-22 Osprey aircraft is ready for operational testing and evaluation.


"This is great news signifying a crucial step forward in reaching our goal of getting this tremendous aircraft to our customers," declared Robert Kenney, Bell Helicopter vice president and director of the V-22 Joint Program Office.


The actual start date for OPEVAL will be determined by Marine Corps Col. Glenn Walters, commanding officer of VMX-22, the squadron based at MCAS New River, NC, which has the mission of performing the V-22 OPEVAL. However, OPEVAL is expected to begin within two weeks.


Two Ospreys were delivered in February from Bell Helicopter's Amarillo, Texas, manufacturing facility bringing the calendar year delivery total to three aircraft so far. February deliveries included the CV-22 Additional Test Asset (ATA) to Edwards AFB, Calif., and Osprey No. 48 was delivered to VMX-22 at MCAS New River, NC. The V-22 program calls for a total of 458 aircraft to be delivered to US Government customers.


Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc. is a $1.6 billion, leading producer 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 over 7,500 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries.


Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company with 44,000 employees in nearly 40 countries. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services.

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