There’s a Fort Worth angle to the developing story about a Navy plane that crashed at sea near Japan on Wednesday.
The tilt-rotor aircraft known as the V-22 Osprey, which is built by Fort Worth’s Bell Helicopter Textron in a partnership with Chicago-based Boeing, will eventually replace the aircraft that crashed in the Philippine Sea.
The Navy says it’s not yet known what caused the C2-A Greyhound, a prop plane used for transporting passengers and goods to and from aircraft carriers, to crash. Eight people were rescued at sea, and three remain missing. Officials told Fox News there are early indications of possible engine failure.
The C2-A Greyhound is built by Virginia-based Northrup Grumman, and versions of the aircraft have been in service since the mid-1960s.
The Navy plans to buy eight Ospreys a year for three years starting in 2018 to gradually replace the C2-A Greyhound, according to Breaking Defense, an online magazine that covers the military.
Wednesday’s crash occurred as the plane was heading from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan, which earlier this month joined two other aircraft carriers in the region for a show of force to North Korea.
The Navy’s 7th fleet, which is based in Japan, has had two other collisions in the area this year that killed 17 sailors.