The Bell Boeing CMV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft is the United States Navy's (USN) chosen successor to the long-running, storied Northrop Grumman C-2 "Greyhound' fixed-wing carrierborne transports. The type utilizes all of the inherent strengths of the existing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor line with some refinements to suit over-water, carrierborne operations for the USN service. The C-2 family line will, however, continue to operate aboard American carriers in the at-sea, long-range aerial logistics support mission resupply role into 2024 at which point the new fleet of CMV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft is set to take over.
The venerable C-2 Greyhound fleet was introduced during the peak of the Cold War (1947-1991) period, in 1966 with its first-flight had some two years earlier in November of 1964. Despite these dated origins, the series has remained a vital component in USN actions for decades, providing all manner of support over-water and at-sea. Seventeen C-2A models were procured by the USN followed by 39 of the newer C-2A(R) types. All C-2A models have since been retired by the service while the C-2A(R) series remains active as of this writing (April 2019). The USN is the sole operator of this Grumman / Northrop Grumman product.
Its successor, the CMV-22B, is nothing more than a navalized variant of the all-modern, and proven, Bell Boeing V-22 "Osprey" tilt-rotor aircraft line. The design is neither helicopter nor fixed-wing aircraft as it can accomplish both vertical and horizontal flight by way of maneuvering its tilting engine nacelles. This gives the design unparalleled capabilities in reaching those "hard-to-reach" areas through pinpoint landings or stable hovering actions. Each engine, Rolls-Royce turboshafts built by Allison, drive large-diameter, three-bladed main rotors which power the V-22's impressive capabilities.
The Navy's B-model is based in the earlier MV-22B, which was developed to a USMC requirement to fulfill an assault transport role for ground troopers. This model introduced a shipborne operating functionality while also retaining cargo-hauling capabilities. The service has used this mark to replace an aging stock of Boeing CH-46E and Sikorsky CH-53D helicopters since introduction. In USN service, the modified CMV-22B is designated specifically for the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) role and improves upon the existing framework by introducing improved communications equipment as well as increased operational ranges - both qualities vital to carrierborne aircraft.
The first CMV-22B tilt-rotors were purchased by the United States Navy through the Fiscal 2018 budget. Additional money has been sought through the Fiscal 2020 budget - this money intended to be used to fund more testing as well as general improvements to the B-model.
December 2019 - The CMV-22B completed its first flight, marking a major project milestone.
January 2020 - The first CMV-22B is expected to be delivered sometime in the early part of 2020.
April 2020 - The CMV-22 has begun developmental testing. USN CMV-22B variants will ultimately see an increase to MTOW as well as fuel capacity. Other improvements will happen to the communications system and cargo loading/unloading process.
June 2020 - The United States Navy has delivered its first CMV-22 Osprey example to an operational squadron at Naval Air Station North Island (San Diego).
June 2020 - Indonesia has been announced as a potential export customer for the new CMV-22 tilt-rotor platform. At least eight airframes may make up the deal.
December 2020 - The first landing on an aircraft carrier by the CMV-22B has been successfully conducted by the United States Navy.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
57.4 ft (17.50 m)
45.9 ft (14.00 m)
22.1 ft (6.75 m)
33,147 lb (15,035 kg)
52,911 lb (24,000 kg)
+19,764 lb (+8,965 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bell Boeing CMV-22B production variant)
2 x Allison (Rolls-Royce) T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshaft engines developing 6,150 horsepower each and driving three-bladed main rotor blades on tilting nacelles.
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