Boeing pays $8.1 million to settle claims of Osprey manufacturing issues

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force

Boeing has reached a settlement of $8.1 million to resolve claims of contract non-compliance with the US Navy dating back to 2007, the US Department of Justice announced on September 28, 2023. 

Specifically, Boeing was accused of having violated the False Claims Act in connection with contracts involving the manufacturing of the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor military aircraft used by several branches of the US military.  

The US government alleged that Boeing failed to adhere to specific manufacturing specifications while producing composite components for the V-22 at its Ridley Park, Pennsylvania facility over an 11-year period between 2007 and 2018. Notably, Boeing was accused of neglecting monthly testing requirements for autoclaves used in the composite cure process, along with other related compliance issues. 

These claims were brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Former employees of Boeing, who had worked in composites fabrication and autoclave operations with the V-22 program, filed these claims on behalf of the United States. Collectively, they will receive $1,539,000 as part of the settlement. 

“Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable contractors who violate such obligations and undermine the integrity of the government’s procurement process,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, who leads the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in the statement. 

The Osprey, officially known as the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, features tiltrotor technology, allowing its rotors to tilt vertically for takeoff and landing and horizontally for forward flight. It performs a wide range of missions, including troop transport, cargo delivery, search and rescue, and special operations. In addition to various branches of the US military, the Osprey is also utilized by Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force.  

Recently, the Osprey has been plagued by a series of mechanical issues. On June 8, 2023, an MV-22 crashed while conducting training in California. All five US service members on board lost their lives. Another fatal V-22 Osprey crash occurred during an exercise in Northern Australia on August 27, 2023, killing three crew members. 

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