The U.S. Navy’s Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 (VRM-30) has received its first CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, the service announced.
The aircraft arrived at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California on June 22. NAS North Island is the home base of VRM-30 “Titans”, the Navy’s first operational CMV-22B squadron.
VRM 30 was established in late 2018 to begin the Navy’s transition from the C-2A Greyhound, which has provided logistics support to aircraft carriers for four decades, to the CMV-22B, which has an increased operational range, greater cargo capacity, faster cargo loading/unloading, increased survivability and enhanced beyond-line-of-sight communications compared to the C-2A.
“Today marks our birthday as a squadron,” said Cmdr. Trevor Hermann, VRM-30’s commanding officer. “We have relied on our Marine Corps brothers and sisters to help us in our training. Today our efforts are tangible, as you can see with the landing of our first aircraft.”
For the last four decades, the C-2A Greyhound has been providing logistic support to aircraft carriers throughout the Navy. However, the CMV-22B Osprey with increased operational range, faster cargo loading/unloading, increased survivability and enhanced beyond-line-of-sight will take over this essential mission. Herman also emphasized the importance of the highly trained Sailors who will work in and on these aircraft.
“This is the instrument that will bring lethality to the fleet,” said Hermann. “Without the maintainers, air crewman and pilots this aircraft is nothing more than carbon fiber and steel. We are the heart and soul of this aircraft. We are carrier on-board delivery, we are naval aviation and we carry the fleet.”
The CMV-22B is a variant of the U.S. Marine Corps’ MV-22B Osprey and is the replacement for the C-2A Greyhound for the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission. The aircraft will be used to transport personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea.
This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May. These are the first of two CMV-22B aircraft assigned to the Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21 (HX-21), the squadron leading the developmental test efforts for the program.
“This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director of the Bell Boeing team.
“We are thrilled to bring the Osprey’s capabilities as a warfighting enabler and its ability to provide time sensitive logistics to the men and women deployed around the world in support of U.S. Navy operations,” said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director.
The CMV-22 Osprey is a variant of the MV-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). As compared to the MV-22B, the Navy variant has extended operational range, a beyond line-of-sight HF radio, improved fuel dump capability, a public address system for passengers, and an improved lighting system for cargo loading.
The aircraft 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 aircraft will also be capable of internally transporting the F-35C Lightning II engine power module.
The Navy officially accepted the first CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft during a reveal ceremony on Feb. 7 at Bell’s Assembly Center in Amarillo, Tx. This was following the first flight operations of the aircraft at the Amarillo Assembly Center. The first aircraft arrived at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS Pax River) in Maryland on Feb. 2 after completing its ferry flight from Texas.
CMV-22B is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in 2021. The complete transition from the venerable Greyhound to the CMV-22B is expected by 2028.
U.S. Navy CMV-22B Squadrons
The U.S. Navy plans is forming two new Fleet Logistics Support Multi-Mission (VRM) Squadrons to operate its new CMV-22Bs rather than converting its existing COD Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VRC).
The first squadron, VRM-30, is based on the West Coast while the second squadron, VRM-40, will be based on the East Coast.
The U.S. Navy’s current COD units are VRC-30 “Providers” based at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., and VRC-40 “Rawhides”, based at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. VRC squadrons provide detachments of Grumman C-2A Greyhound aircraft to transport passengers, high-priority aircraft, ship, and weapons system components, U.S. Mail, and other cargo to and from the Navy’s aircraft carriers. C-2s has been the Navy’s primary COD aircraft since the mid-1960s.