The respected web-site BreakingDefense.com reported on January 13 that the Navy has selected the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor as its future airframe for delivering time-sensitive cargo and personnel to aircraft carriers, beating out a modernized version of the venerable C-2A Greyhound. The Osprey is a revolutionary aircraft combining the speed and range of a fixed-wing turboprop with the vertical agility of a helicopter. By using it in the “carrier on-board delivery” mission, the Navy will accelerate the process of distributing supplies to the fleet, while acquiring a versatile airframe that can also be used for other missions such as rescue and reconnaissance. The V-22 has been a game-changer for the Marine Corps, and now it is poised to transform the way the Navy performs airborne logistics at sea. Prime contractors Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing will benefit significantly at a time when military demand for rotorcraft had appeared to be softening. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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