Boeing welcomes Japan decision to buy V-22s

This photo taken on November 14, 2014 shows multi-mission tiltrotor Osprey aircraft at the US Marine's Camp Futenma in a crowded urban area of Ginowan, Okinawa prefecture, ahead of Okinawa's gubernatorial election.

WASHINGTON - Boeing Co on Friday welcomed a decision by Japan to buy V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that it builds together with Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc. "The Bell Boeing team is honoured the Japanese Ministry of Defence has selected the V-22 Osprey to support its operational requirements, and we'll continue to work with the US government on the foreign military sale," said Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson.

She gave no details on the size of the expected order.

Japan's defence ministry announced the decision on its website on Friday after a budget document released in August requested funds for tilt-rotor aircraft.

Reuters reported last month that Japan would likely be the second foreign country to buy the aircraft, which takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like a plane.

At the time, sources familiar with the programme said Japan was interested in 20 to 40 V-22s.

Israel, which was slated to be the first foreign buyer, has been reviewing its plans given budget constraints.