Bell Boeing has delivered the first V-22 Osprey aircraft to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) Camp Kisarazu in Japan.

The V-22 Osprey departed from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan, for the delivery.

This makes Japan the first international operator of the V-22 helicopter after the US military.

Boeing Tiltrotor Programs vice-president and Bell Boeing deputy programme director Shane Openshaw said: “The delivery of the first Japanese V-22 is an important milestone and represents our strong partnership with the Government of Japan.

“The Osprey’s ability to carry out the toughest missions in the most challenging operating environments will reshape what is possible for the JGSDF.”

The multi-mission, tiltrotor aircraft improves mission efficiency and reduces logistic costs with its V-22 capabilities.

It is configured according to customer communication system requirements. The corrosion-resistant design of the helicopter reduces its long-term maintenance cost.

Prior to the delivery of their first V-22 Osprey, service members of JGSDF underwent training with US Marines last month.

With high range, speed and versatility, the Osprey has completed 500,000 flight hours during safe, survivable missions.

Currently, the V-22 is in service with JGSDF, US Marine Corp (USMC), US Navy and US Air Force to perform missions, including transportation of personnel, supplies, and equipment, humanitarian support, search and rescue missions, and long-range personnel recovery.

V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) programme manager Marine Corps Colonel Matthew Kelly said: “We have had the pleasure of working with the JGSDF state-side to produce, develop, train and maintain their initial fleet of aircraft.

“This arrival marks a key step in standing up its V-22 fleet, and more importantly, the continued collaboration between our nations.”