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Fort Worth's Bell to see major share of work from new $4.2 billion military contract

An MV-22B Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, seen from the observer window of a CH-53E Super Stallion flies above the 5th fleet area of operations, June 10, 2018.

ERIC L. ALABISO II/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By CONOR SHINE | The Dallas Morning News | Published: July 3, 2018

(Tribune News Service) —  A joint program between Bell and Boeing Co. scored a $4.2 billion order for 58 tiltrotor military aircraft, with the much of the work set to take place in Fort Worth and other Texas cities.

The U.S. Department of Defense order, announced Friday, is for variants of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft that combines aspects of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The order includes 39 of the new CMV-22B variant designed for the U.S. Navy, as well as 14 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps, one CV-22B for the Air Force and four MV-22B aircraft for the Japanese government.

Much of the work manufacturing the aircraft will take place in Texas, including in Fort Worth, where Bell is headquartered. The company employs about 4,100 workers in North Texas, according to its website. Previously known as Bell Helicopters prior to a February rebrand, Bell is a subsidiary of Rhode Island-based Textron.

According to the Department of Defense, about 30 percent of the contract work will be done in Fort Worth, with another 12.7 percent in Amarillo. Red Oak, McKinney and Denton will each get a fraction of the work, ranging from about 1 to 3 percent.

Outside of Texas, Ridley Park, Penn., will see the largest share of work at 15.22 percent.

The V-22 order will help stabilize the production program through at least 2024, according to Bell.

Bell reported $1.1 billion in revenues from its V-22 program in 2017, its largest military program that accounts for about 34 percent of the company’s revenues.

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