Dec 29, 2014

V-22 to get a tanker option

This new capability will extend the range of combat aircraft without having to turn to other services or allies for aerial refueling.
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.

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