ARLINGTON, Va. — The first two fuselages for the Navy’s CMV-22B Osprey carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) aircraft have been detailed for final assembly, the aircraft’s program manager said.
“First delivery is later this year,” said Marine Col. Matthew Kelly, joint program manager for the V-22, speaking May 6 to reporters at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space exposition in National Harbor, Md. “We’re really excited to get it out there.”
The CMV-22B will replace the C-2A Greyhound as the Navy’s COD aircraft. As a tiltrotor aircraft, it will not need a tailhook for arrested landings. The CMV-22B adds new features such as an HF radio, a public address system for the cabin and extra fuel tankage. The Navy is procuring 42 CMV-22Bs.
Kelly said that V-22 production is closing in on a potential end to the program unless further orders develop. The Marine Corps has received 326 of 354 ordered out of a program of 360 aircraft. The Air Force has received 52 of 54 ordered out of a program of 56 aircraft. The Navy has 42 ordered of a program of 48 aircraft. Japan has ordered 17 Ospreys.
The Ospreys being built now are part of the Multi-Year Procurement-3 contract awarded in 2018. Kelly pointed out that December 2020 is that last opportunity for a potential V-22 customer to order aircraft within the current contract at the current prices.
With V-22 production for the Marine Corps approaching completion, a question for planners is 360 Ospreys enough considering actual and reasonable attrition over the service life of the inventory, or whether the Marine Corps V-22 program would need to add to the program of record.
“We’re continuing to look as to whether or not that would be the call,” Kelly said. Right now, it does seem to be adequate.”
The Corps has begun to induct fleet MV-22Bs into the CC-RAM (Common Configuration-Readiness and Modernization) program, designed to standardize the different configurations of Ospreys from 70 to five. The program involves 50 engineering change proposals.
The Corps now has four MV-22Bs inducted, with a fifth set for induction this summer. The first CC-RAM completed aircraft is scheduled to roll out by the end of the summer. The Corps plans to put 129 Block B MV-22Bs through the program.