The online Defense Daily has reported that Bell-Boeing is reportedly considering offering the V-22 Osprey as a contender for the VXX presidential helicopter competition to replace the current fleet of VH-3 and VH-60 aircraft.
The report says a company source said that the partnership is “preparing a response to the RFI request with a VV-22 solution”. Other likely contenders include a Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin partnership with the Sikorsky H-92, and AgustaWestland’s EH.101.
Meanwhile, the US has suffered its first combat loss of a V-22 with the crash of a USAF special operations configured CV-22 in Afghanistan on April 8. Some reports have indicated the aircraft crashed as a result of ‘brown out’ conditions caused by dust and sand being kicked up by the massive rotors’ downwash with a resulting loss of situational awareness for the crew, and that it was not hit by enemy fire.
The crash killed four and injured several others, and the wreckage was subsequently destroyed after crash investigators had completed their initial inspections.