Mar 25, 2015
US Navy planning to get its own V-22 Osprey fleet
The decision to replace the aging fleet of C-2A Greyhound cargo aircraft with the tilt-rotor hybrid was made in an internal working document drafted earlier this year that laid the groundwork for funding.
The Navy V-22 Joint Program Office expects to issue a contract for development of a Navy variant in fiscal 2016 with production beginning in fiscal 2018.
Operating as a basic transport aircraft, the Navy variant will be virtually the same as the Marine Corps MV-22, but will add an extended-range fuel system, high-frequency radio and public-address system.
Navy pilots currently train alongside their Marine counterparts to develop a knowledge base for the aircraft. The Osprey already operates off Navy carriers.
The sea-service is the latest entity at home or abroad to enter the market for the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps has obtained more than 200 Ospreys to replace aging CH-46E Sea Knight assault support helicopters and has a requirement for 360. Air Force Special Operations’ aircrews have 33 with a requirement of 50.
The aircraft has performed admirably under fire in Iraq and Afghanistan and in humanitarian operations in the Philippines, despite safety concerns that plagued the platform early in its development.
The Japanese government plans to add as many as 17 tilt-rotor aircraft by fiscal 2018, most likely the V-22 Osprey. Israel has also expressed interest.