Home » Aviation » NAVAIR Awards Bell-Boeing $151 Million To Begin Navy-Variant V-22 Design


NAVAIR Awards Bell-Boeing $151 Million To Begin Navy-Variant V-22 Design

A Marine MV-22 on USS George Washington (CVN-73) in support of Operation Damayan on Nov. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

A Marine MV-22 on USS George Washington (CVN-73) in support of Operation Damayan on Nov. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo

 

This post has been updated to include a statement from Sen. Jack Reed’s office.

Naval Air Systems Command awarded the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office $151 million to begin engineering the Navy variant of the V-22 Osprey, which the service will use as a carrier onboard delivery plane.

The funding, adding onto an existing contract with Bell-Boeing, covers non-recurring engineering costs to add extended range, high frequency beyond line-of-sight radio and a public address system to the baseline MV-22 used by the Marine Corps. The Navy announced in February that its variant would be called the CMV-22B, a designation that combines the cargo-carrying nature of the Air Force’s CV-22 and the multimission and special forces-capable nature of the Marines’ MV-22.

This Fiscal Year 2016 funding is the beginning of a relatively quick development effort – the Navy intends to begin buying its new COD planes in FY 2018, with the first planes delivering in FY 2020. The service intends to buy 44 total.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the COD replacement procurement would pick up just as Marine MV-22 procurement was drawing down, allowing the Navy to fold its procurement into an existing multiyear procurement contract for the Osprey. The Marines did not request any Ospreys in the FY 2017 budget but did ask for two aircraft in the Unfunded Priorities List to help make up for aircraft cut in 2015 due to the Bipartisan Budget Agreement that capped military spending.

During the hearing, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the committee, said the pause in procurement between the end of the Marines’ buy and the beginning of the Navy’s CMV-22B procurement could break the terms of the multiyear procurement contract. Mabus said at the hearing that “it was certainly not our intent to break the multiyear, in fact we thought we were folding this in under the multiyear vehicle. If we inadvertently are breaking the multiyear that was certainly certainly not our intent.” However, Reed spokesman Chip Unruh told USNI News that “if we approve the budget as submitted, that would lead to a breach of the multi-year contract, which is contrary to what the witnesses stated at the hearing, and Sen. Reed continues to monitor the situation.”

A C-2A Greyhound assigned to the Rawhides of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) on Jan. 31, 2016. US Navy photo.

A C-2A Greyhound assigned to the Rawhides of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) on Jan. 31, 2016. US Navy photo.

The CMV-22B will replace the Northrop Grumman C-2A Greyhound turboprop plane, which the Navy first bought in 1965 and then bought a second replacement batch in 1984. The Greyhound is stationed on land, not on the aircraft carrier as part of the air wing, and shuttles people, mail and cargo between land bases and the aircraft carrier. Helicopters can then bring the goods to other ships in the carrier strike group if needed. The Osprey may be able to conduct the mission more efficiently since it can not only land ashore and on aircraft carriers but also on Military Sealift Command supply ships, destroyers, amphibious ships and more.

The Navy has not publicly discussed if and how the CMV-22B would operate on other ships in the fleet, but its mission – “to provide the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander with time-critical, long-range aerial logistics support by transporting personnel, mail and priority cargo from advance bases to the sea base” – could imply operations beyond just the hub-and-spoke model the Greyhound required.

  • muzzleloader

    The C-2 has been at outstanding COD platform. Is this really from strength to strength based decision, or is someone getting a payoff here? The Marine Corps loves their Osprey’s, but they are a maintenance nightmare and costing a ton of money.

    • James B.

      The C-2 is old, and sooner or later the wings will start falling off of them.

    • old guy

      The C-2 airframe could easily be updated to accommodate the few, new requirements needed. It would cost 1/5 of the V-22, for 90% of its missions. The vertical T.O. and landing requirement is easily filled. O POLITICS, O lack of MORES.

  • Curtis Conway

    I sincerely hope the Spirit of the MYP is kept and the Letter of the Law does not reign in this case concerning the legislation. This IS the definition of Moral Leadership. We already have too much of the other going on . . . on the Executive side.

  • Dan Holland

    So given the issues with thermal impacts from MV-22’s on the decks of Gator Navy ships, will this procurement also require modifications to CVN decks?

    • James B.

      I don’t recall if the thermal damage was from vertical takeoffs, or landings alone. I expect the Osprey will land vertically on a CVN, but will almost certainly do a running takeoff.

  • NavySubNuke

    Well at least Sen. Reed and his staff has some clue as to what is going on —- even if Sec. Mabus is just there to make sure we do another 10 hours of sexual harassment/sexual assault training per month.

  • juliet7bravo

    We’re replacing a proven aircraft, with a phenomenal safety record, for a questionable airframe, that’s hugely expensive to operate, a maintenance nightmare, with a horrible safety record?

    That makes perfect sense to me…

  • old guy

    This expensive, semi-useless piece of pilot killing garbage has been a disaster since it came on the scene in the early ’90s. ALL of the Marine commandants through those years fought it as did OPNAV and O5. Multi billion dollar development, 23 passenger capacity, the worst availability record since the TFX (F111) has not been able to stop this Congressional darling. The day I was scheduled to fly in it fin ’92 for a transition, speed demo, the cross shaft broke on rev up. If it had broken 5 minutes later, I wouldn’t be writing this. Modern helo design using COMPOUND (separate lift and thrust rotors) could out lift, out speed, out perform this epitome of stupidity, The 1993 assessment of value said it all. Too bad it wasn’t put on Hillary’s computer, so it would be available.

  • ulises velez

    THE U.S.NAVY THE NEXT CUSTOMER OF THE OV-22 OSPREY.

  • John B. Morgen

    No surprise here the C-2 was bound for a replacement, and the MV-22 is the good candidate; however, the costs for maintenance will be reduced as newer variants of the MV-22 joins the Fleet Air Arm…..

    • old guy

      I am sorry, but you sound like the dozens of excuse makers for the V-22 . When it was in development they said, repeatedly.”Only a couple of hundred million more and we’ll solve all of its problems.” After 2+BILLION, it is still a piece of expensive JUNK. When I wrote a detailed report in 1992 of the faults in the CONCEPT and the EXECUTION, it was accepted and deep-sixed. No amount of objection or deaths could stop this travesty. Please read my comment above.

      • John B. Morgen

        I’m sorry to say that you sound like a naysayer. All new technologies have bugs that need to be weeded out. I remembered problems that the F-14 and the F-111 had during the Cold War, which both aircraft turned out to be very outstanding weapon systems; also, the same for the M-1 Abrams panzer. Newer weapons systems takes time to weed out the bugs. The Navy does need a replacement for the C-2 Grey Hound COD aircraft, and the MV-22 airframe makes it ideal for such missions.

        • old guy

          !. TFX (McNamarra’s idea, (nicknamed That Fxxxxxg Xperiment) was canceled by Navy and MC, the Brits and Aussies. Only the A/F which had let the whole quantity at once, kept it in the limited role and cancelled ALL variants. incidentally, ALL F-111s have a 95# forging in the aft fuselage, for the Navy’s arresting hook.
          2. F-14 was a good development, led by a friend of mine. His BIG problem was the GE engine that didn’t meet specs. It almost got him cashiered when he allocated added unauthorized funds.
          3. I was in the R and D business for 50+ years and I have seen the GOOD (C-5A),
          the BAD ( V-22), and the UGLY (DD1000)
          4. please read my comment on compound helos, which are a better fit for the C-2 replacement.

          • John B. Morgen

            For the sake of argument, which [compound helos] are you referring to?

          • old guy

            There are only a few now. Sikorsky has one. I helped develop an Apache type with Piasecki. The politics ALWAYS killed it’ Almost ANY helo airframe can be adapted to compounding. It results in a smaller lift only rotor and a separate thruster. If you are truly interested, I will try to obtain more specific data, but I have been out of the game for 23 years and the last J.G. that worked for me just retired as a 3 star.

          • John B. Morgen

            Would you say both the Lynx and the Merlin helicopters are using this [compound] mechanical system?

          • old guy

            Neither. Both use a side thruster to counter the rotor torque. For horizontal motion the helo must be tilted to get a horizontal component. The rotor must be sized to provide both lift and thrust. in a compound the main rotor is sized to provide ONLY lift while all horizontal thrust is provided by the axial thruster. The Sikorsky S-97 is a good example. NASA has done sone good work in this area. I predict that in 10 years almost all new large helos will be compounds.

  • BusterB

    I know little about the V-22 but one thing that stands out to a novice is it’s versatility compared to the C-2. Last I heard a C-2 would have difficulty landing on a destroyer, cruiser, cargo ship or any short filed or no runway location or the like. The C-2 has no special ops capability. C-2 doesn’t have an air refueling capability. The C-2 would have to have a production line started from scratch whereas the V-22 line has been in production for years. Lotta pluses for the CMV-22B.