Home » Aviation » Navy Transition from C-2A to CMV-22B Will Span 2020 to 2026; Location of Training Squadron Undecided


Navy Transition from C-2A to CMV-22B Will Span 2020 to 2026; Location of Training Squadron Undecided

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 Navy will begin taking steps to replace 27 C-2A Greyhound aircraft with 38 CMV-22B Osprey aircraft this year and is considering whether to locate the Fleet Replacement Squadron that will train all Navy Osprey pilots in Virginia or California, according to a draft environmental assessment released by the Navy on Wednesday.

The Navy currently operates the C-2A as a carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft for its fleet of nuclear aircraft carriers on both the East and West coasts, with detachments operating overseas as well to provide delivery support to aircraft carriers – bringing personnel, visitors, mail, spare parts and more from the shore to underway carriers. The Navy announced in January 2015 it would replace the aging C-2As with a new variant of the V-22 Osprey, which would be modeled after the Marine Corps version but would include a larger fuel tank for greater range, additional communications gear and a public address system in the rear section of the plane for passengers.

The draft environmental assessment (EA), released by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, includes many previously unannounced details of the transition from the C-2A to V-22.

The Navy will conduct V-22 operations out of Naval Station Norfolk, Va. and Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., same as it currently operates the C-2A. The service is still deciding where to locate the Fleet Replacement Squadron. The Navy previously operated a C-2A FRS on each coast but in 1994 consolidated, with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120 in Norfolk serving as the sole C-2A training location since then.

The Navy will replace its 27 C-2As with 38 V-22s – an increase required “because the current inventory of C-2A aircraft is not sufficient to meet the mission requirements,” the draft EA reads. The transition to the new aircraft will begin in 2020 and should end by 2026, according to the assessment, with the full fielding of the new V-22s coming in 2028. How that transition plays out in Norfolk and in San Diego will depend on which location is chosen to host the FRS.

MV-22B landing on the deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Gidget Fuentes Photo Used with Permission

Under the first alternative, locating the training school at Halsey Field at NAS North Island in San Diego, the transition would wrap up in 2028. NAS North Island would go from 10 aircraft serving as CODs to 23, and 341 new personnel would come in to support the V-22 operations and training. In Norfolk, under this scenario, total aircraft would decrease from 17 to 15 and the workforce would drop by 126 personnel, due to the loss of the training squadron.

Under the second alternative, locating the FRS at Chambers Field at Naval Station Norfolk, the last C-2A would leave North Island as early as 2024 and Norfolk by 2026, though the full transition and introduction of new V-22s would not be completed until 2028 still. With the FRS in Norfolk, total aircraft there would increase from 17 to 20, and total aircraft at North Island would increase from 10 to 18. Personnel at Norfolk would increase by 54, and North Island would see a 161-person increase.

Regardless of where the Navy locates the FRS, North Island is set for a big increase in COD operations, reflecting the Navy’s emphasis on West Coast deployments to the Pacific and the move to homeport six carriers on the West Coast or forward-deployed in the Pacific compared to just four on the East Coast. Norfolk will see more operational COD aircraft and personnel in either scenario but could see a decrease in total aircraft and personnel levels if the FRS was moved from Virginia to California.

Under either scenario, the Navy-variant V-22’s initial operational capability is scheduled for September 2020, so facilities and support will have to be set up in at least one location by October of that year. Full operational capability for the CMV-22B is set for 2024. Facilities upgrades are set to begin this year, according to the assessment.

In support of reaching IOC and FOC ahead of the training squadron being established, Navy V-22 pilots and aircrew will train at the Marine Corps’ MV-22 training squadron, VMMT-204 at Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina. Navy V-22 maintainers will also attend school at MCAS New River.

  • Michael D. Woods

    That’s silly. Part of Naval Aviation, the Marines, are already training MV-22 pilots. Why do they need a separate school? They can just expand the curriculum to include whatever differences there are.

    • tpharwell

      Why ? Why stop now ? After all, using the V-22 as a COD vehicle is a lot worse than silly. But at least with this announcement, they are declaring that they intend to take their sweet time doing it. Naturally, because it will take some more to get the kinks out of it; another decade, they apparently reckon. And until then, the production line is busy. Of course, it will take more Ospreys than Greyhounds, ’cause they carry less. But you see that is good, because there are not enough Greyhounds to meet the Navy’s present demands, which of course, will not grow. So it is better to build lots more Osprey, because it is better to build lots of Osprey, because we want to keep that production line too busy.

      See ?

      • Rob C.

        I’m no aviation specialist by and stretch, but as long as the E-2 is in production, the C2 is in product since their variants of same basic design.

        CMV-22B Osprey which i have no problems with (except the deafing noise from the engines) It has roughly same range as the one it’s C2, but i there some stuff it can’t haul if i’m not mistaken that such as large engines that Greyhound could.

        • Ctrot

          That’s a good point, the E-2 still being in production. Seems to me that it would be a rather simple task to re-wing current C-2A’s with new wings/engines from the E-2 production line. There are probably some C-2’s in the boneyard whose fuselages are have many thousands of hours left in them with new wings.

          • Justin

            There aren’t any C-2s in the boneyard that resemble aircraft.

          • Ctrot

            Oh well. Nevertheless with the E-2 in production new C-2 fuselages should be that expensive. Wings, engines, avionics etc. should be pretty much right off the E-2 production line. Not that it will ever happen, too logical.

        • Kent San

          Exactly wrong. The only current platform that can deliver the hot section (engine ships in modules) of the F-35 engine is the Osprey. For that reason the UK is investigating a CMV-22 purchase though are resource constrained.

          • USNVO

            That and the fact that even if a C-2A could carry a F135 is a shipping/storage container, it couldn’t land on the UKs carriers. If you want decent range, the V-22 is the only game in town if you have to land vertically.

          • El Kabong

            “… if you have to land vertically.”

            Yeah, the USN has been suffering for DECADES without a VTOL COD….

          • USNVO

            Well since he was talking about the UK, which has carriers that require vertical landing, I am not sure that it matters at all what the US Navy has been doing. Or do you suffer under the mistaken assumption that the UK carriers have arrested landing gear and catapults.

          • El Kabong

            Well, how does that explain the USN’s choice, then?

            Clearly, you haven’t been paying attention.

          • El Kabong

            Wrong.

            You might want to go look at what the UK carriers have for deck landing and takeoff gear, boy.

          • USNVO

            Yep, no cats and traps, SVTOL only. You might be confusing the British carriers with the French Charles de Gaulle.

          • El Kabong

            You’re not reading the comment I was replying to.

          • USNVO

            So you didn’t respond to Kent San who said:
            “Exactly wrong. The only current platform that can deliver the hot section (engine ships in modules) of the F-35 engine is the Osprey. For that reason the UK is investigating a CMV-22 purchase though are resource constrained.”

            With:
            “Wrong.

            You might want to go look at what the UK carriers have for deck landing and takeoff gear, boy.”

            Which of course is just silly because the UK carriers have no deck landing or takeoff gear. Just long empty stretches of deck for STOVL or VTOL. I answered:

            “Yep, no cats and traps, SVTOL only. You might be confusing the British carriers with the French Charles de Gaulle.”

            OK, but your original post makes no sense anywhere else.

          • El Kabong

            Your post makes no sense.

        • USNVO

          Nope. The argument was that an all new Greyhond could be designed to carry an F135 in its shipping/storage container, the C-2A couldn’t. But, since the C-2As were scheduled to be replaced anyway, you could redesign it easier than a V-22. However, it would not surprise me if they couldn’t use the same cradle without the engine shipping container method they developed for the V-22 on the C-2A.

          • El Kabong

            Yup.

            The V-22 CANNOT carry the F-135 engine internally.
            The container is being redesigned….

            “But, since the C-2As were scheduled to be replaced anyway….”?

            With WHAT?
            You’re saying the V-22 COD was on the books for years?

      • Duane

        You don’t know what you’re talking about. The payload of the MV-22 is double that of the C-2 (20,000 pounds vs. 10,000 pounds). The cruise speeds are within 10 knots, and of course the MV-22 can operate out of an unimproved LZ while of course the C-2 cannot. In a real shooting war, the first infrastructure the enemy will target is our airbases and runways. Meaning, no carrier resupply can be done by C-2s from non-functioning runways, while the MV-22s can operate from literally anywhere. This gives our carriers a tremendous boost in robustness during a shooting war that was never available before from either C-2s or our heavy lift choppers like the CH-53 which is much slower and has much lower range than the MV-22.

        • HappyEmeritus

          Oh please. Exactly how FAR can an osprey carry a 20,000 pound payload? or a 10,000 pound payload for that matter ? What kind of “shooting war” Supplies carriers from dirt airfields? and how much cargo can it lft in vertical mode and how far can it fly ?

          • Duane

            Puhleez yourself. The MV-22 can carry its full payload its rated range, which is a little over 1,000 nm.

            In a shooting war, you supply your carriers wherever it is feasible to supply them. If the runways are all cratered, it makes no difference to the MV-22. But it puts the C-2 entirely out of the war.

          • El Kabong

            Cite your source, Duaney.

            Care to cite examples from Vietnam?
            Desert Storm?
            Afghanistan?
            Yugoslavia?

          • old guy

            But not Helos. Hunk-A-Junk only has a long range with a pound for pound payload to fuel trade off.

        • tpharwell

          Well, I guess we should all be careful about the cargo-carrying figures we bandy about for certain aircraft, especially a transport variant of the V-22 that
          has yet to make its appearance, as it seems that there is considerable variance among publicly quoted figures for these kinds of aircraft generally, and not much on the subject that the DON has chosen to put out. Per your statement, the CMV-22b will have a cargo “payload” of 20k lbs. I think I see how that is derived, and it certainly sounds better than the tired old
          Greyhound. On the other hand, from the website “Aviation Zone”, we have
          the following statement in a list of performance characteristics:

          “The V-22 operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90 degrees forward once airborne, converting the Osprey into a turboprop aircraft. It can provide V/STOL with a payload of 24 troops, or 6,000 pounds (2,722kg) of cargo, at 430 nautical miles (796km) combat range, or V/STOL with a payload of 8,300 pounds (3,765kg) of cargo for a range of 220 nautical miles (407km). The tilt-rotor aircraft is self-deployable world wide with a ferry range over 2,100 nautical miles (3,889km). ”

          That is a far cry from your claim. Then again, we have the following statement taken from a fact sheet on the Air Force transport version taken directly from the USAF:

          Speed: 277 mph (241 knots) (cruising speed)

          Ceiling: 25,000 feet (7,620 meters)

          Maximum vertical takeoff weight: 52,870 pounds (23,982 kilograms)

          Maximum rolling takeoff weight: 60,500 pounds (27,443 kilograms)

          Armament: one .50 Cal Machine gun on ramp

          Range: combat radius of 500 nautical miles with one internal auxiliary fuel tank

          Payload: 24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded) or 10,000 pounds of cargo

          Another figure, more favorable, but again, a far cry from your’s. Interestingly, what all these sources seem to agree on, more or less, is
          the maximum takeoff weight of the V-22s and their empty weight,
          allowing for differences. TO/m is given consistently across public
          sources as about 60K lbs. Empty, it sits at about 33K lbs. Not that
          anyone ever wants to take off at maximum weight, but this would give us
          a tentative upper bound of 27K lbs for payload, fuel, and crew. So, I
          suppose, with 6K lbs of fuel and a crew of three weighing in at 1k lbs,
          a V-22 could take off with 20K lbs of cargo.

          Query, how far could they go with it ? The weight of common jet fuel is given at 6.8 lbs/gal. 6K lbs of that would give us a volume of less than 1K
          gallons. I fail to see at a glance a fuel capacity figure for any V-22
          variant. There is a trade-off here between range and payload. I wonder
          if you would be willing to share your sources on this subject, and to
          estimate how far your CMV-22b would get lifting off with 20Klbs of cargo.

          respectfully submitted,

          TPH

          • USNVO

            The Navy’s version is supposed to carry 10,000lbs of cargo 1000nm. Which is roughly the same as the USMC version of 10,000lbs of cargo with a combat radius of close to 500nm. The Navy version will have more fuel. Both versions can lift 20,000lbs but as you note are trading fuel/range for payload. There is talk of using a Rolling takeoff for increasing payload.

          • tpharwell

            Copy, thanks.

          • Kent San

            Don’t forget the V-22 can be re-fueled in flight if you must carry at max gross for a long distance. Can’t aerial refuel a C-2.

          • El Kabong

            Can’t refuel an E-2, until recently….

        • El Kabong

          You don’t know what you’re talking about.

          “The payload of the MV-22 is double that of the C-2 (20,000 pounds vs. 10,000 pounds).”?

          According to what source?
          Can it carry an F-35 engine internally?

          “Meaning, no carrier resupply can be done by C-2s from non-functioning runways…”?

          Cite examples.

          Stick to cheerleading for the Little Crappy Ship, Duaney.

          • Duane

            Yes, the MV-22 does carry a F-135 engine internally.

          • El Kabong

            LOL!

            Nope.
            Not a complete engine.

            Do your research.

          • old guy

            in 2 Hunk-A-Junks.

          • old guy

            Aw c’mon, we’ll just leave the fuel at home. Howbout that?

    • PolicyWonk

      Aw c’mon!

      Now you’re talking sensibly, and we’re dealing with the DoD (let alone the clown posse posing as elected officials of the Houses of Representatives)! You can’t expect either to be responsible with taxpayer funds.

      • Justin

        VMNt-204 does not have the capacity to train the requirements of Marines, Navy, and Hapanese forces. Additionally, the syllabus will be different in the 1000 level.

  • Western

    Back in the day, the Navy had a very effective training carrier, the USS Lexington, CVT-16, that was stationed in Pensacola, Florida. Her mission took her into the Gulf of Mexico, where pilots out of Pensacola would make their first carrier landings.
    Florida has better weather, significantly lower cost of living, less crowded infrastructure, and Pensacola is the location of Naval Aviation Schools Command.
    California or Virginia? Keep politics out of military decisions.

    • RDF

      Also A6 RAG squadrons initial carqual on lex. That was a rude cat shot.

      • Western

        All the Lex cat shots were rude, especially those C-2’s when the waves hit the plexiglass.

        • RDF

          Are you saying C2 cod flew on off lex? That’s a lot of wing for that narrow landing area.

          • Western

            It was a long time ago (1972) and I only did it once going home on leave, but I recall the left wheel hitting a wave that we could all feel. Not sure if it was a C-2 or a variant, it was just a flying bus to me. It was a thrill to have a cat ride, the wave not so much, lol.

          • RDF

            C1.

  • Ed L

    Next on the planning sheet a VSTOL carrier cargo aircraft with a 500 knot speed

    • NEC338x

      You forgot stealth and the ability for sub components to be spread across at least a hundred congressional district. Then it might make it out of committee.

  • PolicyWonk

    Indeed – when the options for replacing the C-2’s were being discussed, it came as no surprise whatsoever that they opted for the V-22, especially due to the ability to serve the smaller decks.

    But I see no reason why the navy shouldn’t share the same training facilities as those used by the Marines.

    • USNVO

      It seems silly if the first V-22 guys are going to be training at the USMC squadron that they just don’t keep doing it that way. It is already a combined USMC/USAF unit, adding Navy would be no big deal. However, it could be that they use RAG pilots/aircraft to make deliveries to the local operating areas during their training thereby reducing the overall fleet requirements. Further, without having to move people around, they may save on relocation of personnel. So it may be cheaper and reduce overall airframes and pilot numbers without a major logistical burden. Of course they may just want to do it that way to keep command opportunity or because they have always done it that way.

    • Kent San

      I don’t know why they plan to open their own facilities other than eventually they may need pilot throughout that strains the Marine squadron and it thus makes sense to start their own.

  • Sir_Tanly

    $151 million >to figure out< where to plug in a bigger gas tank and a P.A.? Hey Donald … someone isn't negotiating worth a d(&*## here.

  • El Kabong

    “Payload is everything the aircraft can carry beyond max fuel.”?

    Wrong.

    Payload varies with fuel load, Duaney.

    You pretend that you know better than those with common sense, and claim that it’s brilliant for the Navy to select the MV-22, you’re wrong.

    You should be sorry.

  • El Kabong

    Bravo! Why these idiots with no understanding opt of chime in a spew nonsense is beyond me.

    C-2 hate and an allergy to common sense clearly runs deep.

  • El Kabong

    There’s a small contingent of internet commenters who are pure amateurs.

    Go cheerlead the LCS, Duaney.

  • El Kabong

    Yet, again, the easiest way to shut you down, Duaney….

    Cite your sources.

  • El Kabong

    I asked first, Duaney.

    Admit it.

    You’ve been busted, yet again.

  • El Kabong

    Quit squirming and back up your silly claim for once, Duaney.

    YOU are the one claiming the V-22 can carry a complete F135 engine internally.

  • old guy

    I would like any of you Hunk-A-Junk (V-=22) advocates to explain to me why President Obama rejected it as the follow-on Presidential helicopter? Fast, good payload. It would seem to me. if what you guys are touting that it would have been the ideal choice. But yet it was rejected in the first round decision.