The First V-22 For Japan Exposed By Photograph Taken At Amarillo During Engine Tests.
The first of 17 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is about to perform its maiden flight from Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center, Texas.
The photo above, showing the first Japanese V-22, the very first Osprey for a military outside of the U.S., was taken at Amarillo by Paul Lawrence Braymen on Aug. 24, 2017, as the tilt-rotor aircraft, sporting Japan’s camouflage and roundel, performed engine tests ahead of the first flight (expected next week).
The JGSDF will receive the V-22B Block C variant, the same in service with the U.S. Marine Corps as MV-22.
The Osprey will undertake humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations increasing also the interoperability with the U.S. forces (both USMC and USAF) which operate the aircraft.
The sale of 17 V-22 Osprey and associated equipment for the JGSDF, split in various orders and worth 3B USD, was eventually announced in 2015 in spite of the criticism that has always surrounded the type’s presence in the skies over Okinawa caused by concerns that the tilt-rotor hybrid aircraft might be prone to crashes.
Image credit: Paul Lawrence Braymen