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The U.S. Navy’s new CMV-22 tiltrotor carrier-based cargo aircraft continued its journey westward on June 22, arriving at Naval Air Station North Island in California.
Built partly by Boeing in Philadelphia, then completed in Texas by Bell, the Navy’s first CMV-22 Osprey first flew in January, was formally delivered to the U.S. government the next month and is now at home in California. Next year it will deploy into the Pacific in support of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group.
This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B to the Navy at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May.
“This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing’s vice president of tiltrotor programs and deputy director of the Bell-Boeing team.
Back on the East Coast, at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT DET 204) graduated its first three “fleet nugget pilots” the same day.
“These three FRS roommates have been studying hard, and are heading out to California to join the fleet and check out their new ride,” Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing posted on Facebook.
Based on the Marine Corps’ beloved MV-22B, the CMV-22 will replace the C-2A Greyhound as the carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft delivering personnel, food, mail, ammunition and other cargo between land and carriers and between ships. The CMV-22B and C-2A conducted a symbolic passing of the torch flight in April.
“The CMV-22B will be a game-changing enabler to the high end fight supporting the sustainment of combat lethality to the carrier strike group,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Dewon Chaney, commodore of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing. “The multi-mission capabilities of the CMV-22B, already recognized, will be realized in Naval Aviation’s Air Wing of the future. The arrival of this aircraft is the first of many steps to that becoming reality.”
This first Osprey is assigned to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30, based at Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego. VRM-30 was established in late 2018 as the Navy’s first unit to transition from the C-2A Greyhound to the CMV-22. Photos of the Osprey’s arrival were posted to the unit’s Facebook page and that of Naval Air Systems Command.
The C-2 has performed the COD mission since the 1960s. Its replacement has greater cargo capacity, faster loading capability, improved communication. The Osprey also is able to transport engines for both the Marine Corps short takeoff and landing F-35B and the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C. When the Vinson next sails, it will mark deployment of both the CMV-22 and the F-35C.
Larger fuel sponsons on the CMV-22 increase its range to 1,150 nautical miles carrying 6,000 pounds. It also sports an HF antenna for air traffic control radio calls during long-distance oceanic routes and an internal public address system for transporting VIPs in the back.
Bell and Boeing are building at least 39 CMV-22s for the Navy under a $4.2 billion contract awarded in 2018.