The Navy’s current platform for the carrier onboard delivery (COD) mission, the tiltrotor CMV-22B Osprey, is a variant of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft that the Marine Corps has been flying successfully for more than fifteen years. It has been characterized by at least one knowledgeable source as a “game changer.” This is attributed to the platform’s long range, improved internal fuel storage, aerial refueling capability, and ability to operate from small, unimproved airfields. In addition, because it takes off and lands vertically, the CMV-22B does not impact other flight operations on the carrier’s deck. The CMV-22B obviates the need to reload supplies on conventional helicopters to move material from the carrier to other ships in the battle group. The Navy intends to operate the CMV-22B into the mid-2050s, at least. With this fact in mind, it makes little sense for the Navy to halt acquisition of the CMV-22B at 44 or even 48 aircraft. This number is not sufficient for the COD mission alone, assuming even modest attrition. I have written more on this subject here.
Find Archived Articles: