The U.S. Navy plans to form two new squadrons to operate its new CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for the carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) mission rather than converting its existing COD squadrons.
To operate the new CMV-22B Osprey, which will replace the C-2A Greyhound in the COD role, the Navy intends to stand up two new Fleet Logistics Support Multi-Mission (VRM) Squadrons, Sea Power magazine reported citing Lt. Leslie Hubbell, a spokeswomen for commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The U.S. Navy’s current COD units are Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) “Providers” based at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., and VRC-40 “Rawhides”, based at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
“The VRC squadrons will not transition or be redesignated,” Hubbell said in an email to Seapower. “VRM is new community, with a new wing [and], two new VRM squadrons (VRM-30 on the West Coast and VRM-40 on the East Coast).”
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.
Hubbell said there also will be a Navy fleet replacement unit for the new CMV-22B in the future.
The CMV-22 Osprey is a variant of the MV-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The Osprey is a tiltrotor V/STOL aircraft that can takeoff and land as a helicopter but transit as a turboprop aircraft.
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 CMV-22B will be capable of transporting up to 6,000 pounds of cargo/personnel to a 1,150 NM range. CMV-22B operations can be either shore-based, “expeditionary”, or sea-based.
The CMV-22B is expected to field with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and deploy for the first time (projected) in 2021. While the Program of Record has 48 CMV-22 projected, the Navy currently plans to procure only 44 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2020.