The first CMV-22B Osprey completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center.

The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea.

According to a release:

“Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.”

“With the ability to travel up to 1,150 nautical miles, the CMV-22B will be a lifeline for our servicemen and women out at sea,” said Kristin Houston, vice president, Boeing Tiltrotor Programs and director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program.

“The quality and safety built into this aircraft will revolutionise the way the U.S. Navy fulfills its critical carrier onboard delivery mission.”

Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental tests.

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Why not buy several of them, as a cargo aircraft for QECV as well as air-to-air refuel (AAR) assets. Say, 8 of them, to deploy 3 onboard one CV with F35 airwing. If no F35 is needed (like USA can provide full air cover), the CV22 can work as a fast assault helicopter. Yes, CV22 is very expensive. But, I think it is worth cutting 8 F35 (out of planned 138) to include 8 CV22 in the fleet. Even if the plans is for only 60 F35, a fleet of “52 F35 and 8 CV22” vs “60 F35”, I think… Read more »

Andy P

Its not just buying the 8 aircraft though, there’s the crew training, logistics support etc. They don’t have a great maintenance track record either so 8 might not cut it.

I’m not against getting them as such, they’re handy but I’d rather wait until they iron out some of the issues first.


You are right. V22 is a very expensive aircraft, requiring expensive maintenance. In this regard, “8” is not good for logistics.

But, it is not so bad either. For example, RAF P-8A is 9 units. I understand it shares some logistics with USN P-8As. Also, UK F35B shares some logistics with USMC F35B. May be similar thing can happen with V22?

But anyway, this is just a simple proposal. Agree not easy thing. But, F35B AAR capability will be kind a “critical” within a decade, I guess…


“I’m not against getting them as such, they’re handy but I’d rather wait until they iron out some of the issues first.”
This thing first flew in 1989. If they haven’t “iron[ed] out some of the issues” by now I’m not sure they ever will.
File under nice to have, but probably shouldn’t – and look to the Valor and other forthcoming platforms of a similar concept.


The Valor has a number of key improvements over the V22. The major one is that on the Valor the engines no longer rotate. This is a problem with the V22 as it not only heats up decks etc, but generates a lot of dust. With the Valor the engine stays in a fixed orientation and they now rotate the gearbox instead. As the engine is in a fixed forward position there is less hot gas ingestion, which is a major problem in certain conditions when hovering. They have also redesigned the rotor/propeller hubs. The blades are no longer rigidly… Read more »


Don’t forget the SAS have been begging for some CV-22s for a decade or more… so numbers could be higher than 8 if combined with their requirement. V-247 will take a decade to appear, how much longer do we want to wait?


In some respect, I think the US Navy have missed a trick with this aircraft. They are going to be using the Boeing MQ25 Stingray as a CATOBAR launched unmanned drone for air to air tanking. It is designed to deliver about 15,000lbs of fuel. It was also supposed to be capable of doing electronic and visual reconnaissance. This has fallen by the wayside, as the Navy want it to concentrate of refuelling thereby relieving F18s doing buddy to buddy fuelling. However, the V22 can carry about 13,000lbs of fuel, but it could also be used for much more. For… Read more »


Unlike the US Navy, the Royal Navy will be able to transfer complete F-35 engines from accompanying RFA. That is most of the US requirement for these aircraft.

In other words, the UK doesn’t need them. Let alone instead of their limited numbers of 5th gen fighters.

Robert blay

Would be a ‘nice to have ‘ for our carriers, but very expensive, and we have more important things to spend our money on. Maybe we will come to some arrangement with the USMC if MV22 capability is required for a certain type of deployment, as USMC F35’s will be regular visitors to the QE’s.


The trick here is to lease a batch from the US instead of buying them. We could use the USMC version for air assault from POW for instance. Whilst our carriers should never be moonlighting as an LPH, the speed and range of the Osprey means it could transform our ability to put troops ashore from a vessel lying further out in deeper water.


Why has my comment replying to Andy P been deleted?