View Full Version : V-22 Osprey may take on Carrier role for Navy

09-20-2009, 01:48 PM
The Navy may replace its aging fleet of C-2 Greyhounds with tilt-rotor V-22 Ospreys, a Navy spokeswoman said.

“The V-22 is being considered as one option for the replacement of the C-2; however, there has been no final determination and, to date, there have been no Navy-specific requirements designed into the V-22,” said Lt. Callie Ferrari, a spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

The Osprey — a revolutionary aircraft that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a fixed-wing plane — has just recently begun to deploy with the Marine Corps, its primary customer.

Last year, the Marines took the MV-22 Osprey to Iraq; this year, the aircraft deployed at sea for the first time on the amphibious assault ship Bataan.

Talk of a Navy variant of the V-22 dates back decades, but it’s always been unclear precisely what, if any, role it might fill.

The original V-22 program that began in the 1980s included three possible applications for a Navy Osprey — combat search and rescue, special warfare and fleet logistics.

Today, the growing fleet of H-60 helicopters handles the bulk of combat-search-and-rescue missions as well as some special warfare support.

Meanwhile, the C-2, known as a carrier on-board delivery plane, or COD — bringing mail, supplies and people to carriers — is nearing its twilight years.

Today’s fleet of 35 CODs dates back to 1984. The aircraft has reached the end of its initial service life, but Navy officials have put them through a service-life extension program, said Marcia Hart-Wise, a spokeswoman for the C-2 program office at Naval Air Systems Command.

The program aimed to stretch their lifespan from 10,000 flight hours to 15,000. So far, 28 of those 35 aircraft have undergone the SLEP.

Navy officials were unable to say how long the C-2 is projected to remain in the fleet, or when its replacement will be needed.

The Navy agreed to buy 48 Ospreys in the aircraft’s “program of record” — a long-term planning agreement between the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.

But the Navy, unlike the other two services, has never allocated money or carved out a clear mission for the aircraft.

In the past, the Osprey also has been considered a potential anti-submarine platform, or an “SV-22,” and for electronic warfare, or an “EV-22.”

A spokesman for Bell-Boeing’s Osprey program said they have discussed with Navy officials the possibility of providing an Osprey for “fleet logistics.”

Other uses remain conceptual at this point.


09-20-2009, 02:00 PM
I think this would be good. The C-2 Greyhound is an aging plane. The Osprey could definitely work well for clandestine operations, such as delivering SEAL teams.