A CMV-22B tilt-rotor aircraft delivered first goods to aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) earlier this week, marking the first time the new aircraft type has landed on a carrier.
The CMV-22B, a variant of the widely-used V-22 Osprey, will serve as the US Navy’s new carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft, replacing the C-2A Greyhound which has served for 40 year in the role.
The first aircraft carrier landing milestone follows several milestones in the past 12 months for the COD program, including the aircraft’s first flight at Bell’s Amarillo assembly center in January. The first operational CMV-22B arrived at Naval Air Station North Island, June 22.
The CMV-22B will be capable of transporting up to 6,000 pounds of cargo and/or personnel over a 1,150 nautical mile range. This expanded range is due to the addition of two new 60 gallon tanks installed in the wing for an additional 120 gallons of fuel and the forward sponson tanks were redesigned for additional capacity.
The CMV-22B variant has a beyond line-of-sight high frequency radio, a public address system for passengers, and an improved lighting system for cargo loading. The aircraft will also be capable of internally transporting the F-35C Lightning II engine power module.
CMV-22B is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in 2021. The navy currently plans to buy 44 of the aircraft.