The US Navy has announced that its CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft has achieved initial operational capability (IOC), confirming its readiness for deployment.
According to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Director Andrew Loiselle, the plane’s “operational success” during its maiden deployment with Carrier Air Wing 2 and the USS Carl Vinson led to him declaring IOC.
He explained that the aircraft has proven its value to the navy, especially now that it continues to invest in platforms that will make up the “Air Wing of the Future.”
As part of the Navy’s Carrier Onboard Delivery mission, the aircraft will be utilized in transporting personnel, supplies, and other cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. It will replace the C-2A Greyhound.
“This aircraft went from first flight to first deployment in 19 months; a feat possible through the dedication of the Navy’s acquisition, engineering, test, and operational communities, as well as industry, all working in tandem, toward a common goal,” US Marine Corps V-22 Joint program manager Col. Brian Taylor stated in a press release.
‘More Than Stamp of Approval’
A variant of the MV-22B, the CMV-22B Osprey is the US Navy’s intra-theater aerial logistics capability, long-range, medium-lift element. It is designed to fulfill time-critical logistics air connector requirements.
The aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter but transitions to a turboprop aircraft mid-flight, making it critical for many specialized combat operations.
The plane has an extended operational range of 1,150 nautical miles (2,129 kilometers) with 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms) of internal payload. It can fly at a maximum speed of 280 knots (518 kilometers per hour).
Taylor enthused that the recently awarded IOC designation is “more than a stamp of approval.” Rather, it is a vote of confidence from Navy officials that the plane’s design, testing, and production meet the logistical needs of the carrier air wings.
The US Navy reportedly plans to purchase 44 CMV-22B Ospreys.