U.S. Navy to sign deal with Bell, Boeing for 99 more V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:16pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy plans to sign this week a five-year contract valued just under $6.5 billion to buy 99 new V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft built by Boeing Co (BA.N) and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc (TXT.N), saving $1 billion over that period, the program's manager said in an interview on Monday.

Marine Corps Colonel Gregory Masiello said the multiyear contract, the second one signed for the program, covers the period from fiscal year 2013 through 2017 and includes options for 22 additional aircraft. He said the government's decision to sign the agreement underscored its confidence in a program that had once been threatened with cancellation.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Toni Reinhold)