HV-22 Navy Variant
The United States Navy has a requirement for a specially configured V-22 variant known as the HV-22. These will be used for shipborne combat search and rescue and fleet logistics support. As of 1999, detailed requirements have not yet been established. The total requirement is for 48 aircraft (originally 50), with deliveries from FY10.
Other possible production versions include the SV-22 variant for the US Navy, used to provide mid- to long-range sea-based airborne antisubmarine warfare protection.
The US Marine Corps and U.S. Navy require that the V-22 be compatible with below-decks stowage, flight deck elevators, flight deck edge clearance for the wheels, control island clearance for the rotors, rapid turn-around times, and the limited availability of maintenance facilities on aircraft carriers or air capable ships. The Osprey's airframe footprint, tail configuration, and stowed dimensions are all affected by these requirements. Of these requirements, the most defining characteristic is the requirement to operate from a launch and recovery spot located next to the control tower or island of a helicopter carrier. The clearances to the island structure on one side (12'8") and the deck edge on the other side (5') define a very precise limitation on overall wingspan and available rotor diameter.
The Osprey's ability to fly long distances at low altitudes in adverse weather conditions and then hover over a point makes the V-22 the ultimate search and rescue vehicle. Whether picking up downed airman, stranded seaman or performing disaster relief the V-22 could do what no helicopter or fixed wing aircraft can.
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