RIDLEY PARK, Pa. (CBS) – Congress is trying to make big cuts in military spending, but the V-22 Osprey has now been taken off the chopping block, potentially saving the jobs of thousands of local workers.

The part-helicopter, part-fixed-wing aircraft is made — partly — in Ridley Township, where Andy Lee is a Boeing spokesman.

“Here in Delaware County the Boeing plant employs about 6,000 people, and roughly a third of that workforce is dedicated to Osprey production,” Lee told KYW Newsradio today.

The troubled Osprey program has been a target of budget cuts before, but Congressman Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) says it deserves to be spared.

“This is a system that has proven itself and that had already earned the support of the appropriators in the Department of Defense,” Meehan says.

Right now, the Marines are using Ospreys in Afghanistan.

Reported by Margie Smith, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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