The first two V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft bound for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) has arrived in Japan on May 8.
The aircraft arrived aboard the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC)-chartered vehicle carrier MV Green Ridge and were off-loaded at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. The V-22 off-load at MCAS Iwakuni marked the first time JGSDF V-22s arrived on Japanese soil.
On 21 November 2014, the Japanese Ministry of Defense officially decided to procure 17 V-22s. In January 2015, Japan’s parliament approved a defense budget with funding for five V-22s, and the first V-22 for Japan was delivered in August 2017.
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The aircraft has a 38-foot rotor system and the engine/transmission nacelles are mounted on each wingtip. It can operate as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90 degrees for horizontal flight, converting the V-22 to a high-speed, fuel-efficient turboprop airplane. The wing rotates for compact storage aboard ship.
The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor for military service led to many years of development.
The U.S. Marine Corps fielded MV-22B Osprey in 2007 and the U.S. Air Force fielded their version of the tiltrotor, the CV-22B, in 2009.
The U.S. Marine Corps is the lead service in the development of the Osprey and fielded its version, the MV-22B, in 2007. It is used as an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, and will be capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore.
The U.S. Air Force fielded their version of the aircraft, the CV-22B, in 2009. It is used by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces.
The U.S. Navy plan to use the CMV-22B variant for carrier onboard delivery (COD) missions beginning in 2021.