The first two V-22 Osprey aircraft bound for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) units arrived in Japan at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, according to a recent Marine Corps news release.
“The V-22 off-load marked the first time JGSDF V-22s arrived on Japanese soil,” said in a statement.
Japan ordered the first five Ospreys aircraft for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in July 2015 for $332 million.
A number of V-22s will be stationed aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s new 19,5000-ton helicopter carrier Izumo. Japan’s Ministry of Defense also announced its intention to deploy some V-22s in the East China Sea.
The purchase of V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft is part of a larger push of the JSDF to improve its amphibious and naval warfare capabilities.
The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. This combination results in global reach capabilities that allow the V-22 to fill an operational niche unlike any other aircraft.
The V-22 is currently in service with the United States Marine Corps and the Air Force Special Operations Command.
Since entering service, the V-22 has been deployed in numerous missions around the world, including casualty evacuation, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, resupply, VIP transport, and theater security cooperation.