For 50 years the U.S. Navy has been relying on a turboprop aircraft called the C-2A Greyhound to perform its carrier onboard delivery mission. However, as the Navy shifts the main focus of its operations to the vast expanses of the Pacific Basin, it may be time for a change. An analysis of alternatives conducted by the Navy in 2012 gave high marks to the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor as a potential Greyhound successor, due to its unique combination of speed, range and vertical agility. Osprey would enable the Navy to greatly increase the velocity and volume of airborne resupply by avoiding the need to transfer cargo and passengers from the Greyhound to helicopters on carrier decks when their final destination is other surface vessels in the fleet. Osprey also is not tethered to runways ashore since it can land on a dime just about anywhere, and can be refueled in the air. Using V-22 to perform carrier onboard delivery in the Pacific (and elsewhere) would help the Navy to overcome the tyranny of distance and dearth of bases in a region that is fast becoming the top concern of U.S. military planners. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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