Dec 29, 2014
V-22 to get a tanker option
This will make the air combat element more independent and flexible since it won't have to rely on other services' tankers, and because the Osprey doesn't require a well-developed airstrip like fixed-wing aircraft.
A prototype refueling system was tested in August, 2013 in Texas. In that evaluation, an Osprey equipped with tanks and a refueling hose flew as fighters trailed behind it. The aircraft "safely deployed, held stable, and retracted the refueling drogue as an F/A-18C and an F/A-18D Hornet flew just behind and to the side of the aircraft," Boeing, one of the companies that created the V-22, reported in a news release.
Giving the V-22 this new capability won't pigeon-hole the aircraft as a tanker and the Osprey will primarily be used to fly Marines and their gear. The tanker system is a piece of roll-on, roll-off equipment that will be temporarily installed on a particular aircraft, allowing it to switch between different types of missions.
The tanker capability is one of the latest modifications to the V-22.