V-22 Osprey Production
By 2013, the in-service fleet grew to 238 Ospreys operating worldwide, the Air Force delivered the first overseas-based CVs to the squadron at Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall United Kingdom (UK), Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) began transition of greenside assets to MV-22Bs, the first reserve Vertical Marine Tilt Rotor (VMM) squadron stood up and VMM-262 arrived in Okinawa as the second squadron home based in the Asia-Pacific region.
To support upcoming decisions for a Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) replacement aircraft, in 2013 the V-22 successfully completed the Military Utility Assessment (MUA) performing the COD mission to include passengers, cargo, and cyclic flight operations aboard the USS Truman (CVN 75). The MUA report concludes: "The V-22 demonstrated an effective, flexible, and safe capability to conduct the COD mission with no modifications and no adverse impact to cyclic flight operations."
The Navy's FY-16 V-22 program of record would achieve a fleet size of 408 Ospreys, including 306 MV-22 variants for the Marine Corps and 48 Navy variants for the COD mission. The program objective was 472 Osprey tilt-rotors: 360 MV-22 Marine Corps aircraft, 14 VH-22 Presidential squadron, 50 CV-22 aircraft for USSOCOM (funded by USSOCOM and the Air Force), and 48 HV-22 Navy aircraft.
As of 2015 the Marine Corps planned to procure a total of 360 MV-22B’s in the following squadron beddown:
MYP3 would buy 44 Navy variants to replace the C-2 Greyhound for the carrier onboard delivery (COD) mission. Deliveries would start in 2020. In 2015 the Navy decided to use it to replace the C-2A fixed wing aircraft. That decision helped Boeing and Bell extend production of the planes from 2020 to 2025. As of May 2015, the Navy had no immediate plans to explore using its planned fleet of V-22 Ospreys carrier onboard delivery aircraft to refuel its carrier aircraft, while the Marines were actively looking to include a tanking capability in its own tilt-rotor V-22s by 2017.
- 18 active squadrons x 12 MV-22B
- 2 reserve squadrons x 12 MV-22B
- 1 fleet replacement squadron x 20 MV-22B
V-22 capability is being increased and fielded over time via a Block upgrade acquisition strategy. MV-22 Block A provides a “Safe and Operational Test and Training Asset" configuration that supports developmental and operational flight tests, as well as fleet training. MV-22 Block B provides for correction of previously identified deficiencies and suitability improvements. MV-22 Block C provides mission enhancements, primarily in the areas of environmental control systems upgrades and mission systems improvements. The V-22 Block C upgrade incorporates weather radar for MV-22 only, an improved environmental control system for both CV-22 and MV-22 variants, troop commander situational awareness display for MV-22, upgraded standby flight instrument and GPS repeater for MV and CV, and additional chaff/flare equipment for the MV-22.
Block 0/10 is a CV-unique configuration including radar and electronic countermeasures upgrades. Block 20 would provide an enhanced CV-unique configuration with communications and aircraft system performance upgrades.
V-22 Production Lots
On July 7, 2004 Bell-Boeing Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., was awarded an $8,712,386 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract (N00019-03-C-6517) to install Wing Auxiliary Tanks and remove Aft Sponson Fuel Tanks on the 9 MV-22 aircraft in Lot 8. It includes non-recurring effort to perform functional testing and convert the Aft Sponson Fuel Tank, supporting provisions, and associated plumbing into their own kit. Work would be performed in Amarillo, Texas, and is expected to be completed in October 2006.
On February 23, 2004 Bell Boeing Joint Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., was awarded a $849,300,000 (estimated value) advanced acquisition contract for long lead materials needed to manufacture eight Lot 9 MV-22 and three CV-22 low rate initial production tilt rotor aircraft. Work would be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (50 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); and Amarillo, Texas (15 percent), and was completed in October 2007.
On January 24, 2005 Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., was awarded an advanced acquisition contract with an estimated value of $850,000,000 for long lead effort and materials associated with the manufacture and delivery of 11 fiscal year 2006 Lot 10 low rate initial production V-22 aircraft (nine MV-22 aircraft and two CV-22 aircraft). Work would be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (50 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); and Amarillo, Texas (15 percent), and was expected to be completed in September 2008.
On December 27, 2005 Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., was awarded an advance acquisition contract for long lead components associated with the manufacture and delivery of 14 fiscal 2007 Lot 11 MV-22 and 2 fiscal 2007 Lot 11 CV-22 aircraft. The estimated ceiling value for this effort is $1,058,600,000. Work would be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (50 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); and Amarillo, Texas (15 percent), and was expected to be completed in September 2009.
The MV-22 aircraft was produced utilizing a block approach. V-22 capability was increased and fielded over time via a Block upgrade acquisition strategy. On March 31, 2003 Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office, Patuxent River, Md., was awarded a $192,035,522 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded undefinitized cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-93-C-0006) for continuing phase I of the MV-22 block upgrade program, which consists of the non-recurring engineering design activities, integration and flight testing required through delivery of aircraft 34 for block A, the critical design review for block B, and all associated flight testing. Work would be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (50%), and Ridley, Pa. (50%), and is expected to be completed in September 2003.
MV-22B Block A
MV-22 Block A provides a “Safe and Operational Test and Training Asset" configuration that supports developmental and operational flight tests, as well as fleet training. This upgrade includes those efforts necessary to return the MV-22 to safe and operational fleet operations. This aircraft represents the core Fleet Marine Force aircraft. These improvements will include a redesign of hydraulic tubing and electrical wiring in the engine nacelles, upgraded flight control software, and Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) improvements. Capabilities are defined in the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC)-approved CPD. Block A series aircraft would provide an improved aircraft with which the Marine Corps can train. This includes a software enhancement, nacelle reconfiguration, and additional reliability and maintainability improvements. These aircraft would remain at VMMT-204 and would not deploy. As of December 2005, 29 Block A aircraft had been delivered to the flight line at MCAS New River.
MV-22B Block B
MV-22 Block B series aircraft would be the first MV-22s to deploy and would provide further improvements in effectiveness and maintainability for operators and maintainers, including improved access to the nacelle for inspection purposes and substantial reliability and maintenance improvements. MV-22 Block B provides for correction of previously identified deficiencies and suitability improvements. Improved maintenance access to the engine nacelle, avionics and cockpit upgrades, hoist and defensive weapons system capabilities are also included. Capabilities are defined in the JROC-approved CPD. The first Block B aircraft was delivered to the Marine Corps on 08 December 2005. The MV-22 Block B attained Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in June 2007 and was used in Iraq from October 2007 until April 2009 to support operations from Al Asad Air Base in Iraq's Anbar province. Three Marine squadrons used the same 12 MV-22s for three consecutive deployments.
MV-22B Block C
MV-22 Block C configuration would incorporate mission enhancements. These enhancements include the addition of a weather radar, a forward firing ALE-47 dispenser, improved hover coupled features, an improved environmental conditioning system (ECS), and a troop commander situational awareness station.
MV-22 Block C provides mission enhancements, primarily in the areas of environmental control systems upgrades and mission systems improvements. The MV-22B was upgraded to the AN/AAR-47B(V)2 laser and missile warning system. Both warning systems are integrated with the AN/ALE-47 countermeasure system to dispense chaff and flares. The MV-22B Block C has three dispensers located on each aft sponson and one forward mounted below the crew compartment. The installation allows the correct expendable type response needed to counter any approaching threat system via manual, semi-automatic, or automatic response from either radar or missile warning receiver systems. The countermeasures can be tailored to optimize the countermeasure (CM) response based upon aircraft speed, altitude, attitude, and other aircraft parameters.
The tailored CM responses have been flight tested with excellent results. For the future, the MV-22B was selected as the lead integration aircraft for the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS) currently in competition as a replacement for the AN/AAR-47 family of Missile Warning System (MWS) installations. The MV-22 Block C incorporates the forward AN/ALE-47 dispenser for enhanced countermeasure effectiveness for counter-countermeasure capable Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPAD) threats. Bell-Boeing working with PMA-275 was able to integrate and retrofit deployed Block B aircraft with the forward dispenser capability to support MV-22 operations of VMM-263. This addition has been shown to be very effective in captive seeker and Hardware-in-the-Loop testing.
MV-22B Block D
MV-22 Block D is in the budget cycle.
CV-22 Block 0
Block "0" was the initial baseline CV-22 variant. CV-22 Block 0 - MV-22B Block A plus basic special operations capabilities. Provide basic special operations capability to the V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor by adding a self-protection Electronic Counter Measures suite, Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance radar, and communications interoperability with other Special Operations Forces, as well as correction of deficiencies. The CV-22 program is managed by the Navy V-22 Joint Program Office (NAVAIR PMA-275). This ensures that the CV-22 changes are incorporated into the ongoing V-22 production line with minimum impact. Funding for the baseline CV-22 Engineering Manufacturing and Development, known as Block 0, is embedded in the Navy budget.
CV-22 Block 10
CV-22 Block 10 - Provides improved Special Operations capability to the V-
22 by adding countermeasures capabilities. MV-22B Block B plus improved special operation capabilities. Block 0/10 is a CV-unique configuration including radar and electronic countermeasures upgrades. MV-22B Block B and CV-22 Block 10 have the same propulsion system, and a 90% common airframe. CV-22 Block 10s are combat-ready aircraft that incorporate improvements to operational effectiveness and suitability as well as maintainability enhancements. The equivalent MV-22 configuration is known as Block B. On 03 March 2006 Air Force leadership accepted the keys for the first combat-configured CV-22 Osprey from Bell Boeing Wednesday in a ceremony at the Bell manufacturing facility in Amarillo, Texas. While earlier versions of the CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft are in use as test assets, this was the first of the "Block B/10" aircraft, representing the configuration that the Air Force Special Operations Command would take into combat.
The CV-22 acquisition program delayed incorporation of some operational capabilities until the completion of a Block 10 (formerly Pre-Planned Product Improvement) CV-22 program. This strategy was based on a developmental funding cap agreed to by the Department of the Navy and the USSOCOM Acquisition Executive and concerns over the technical maturity of parallel acquisition programs. CV-22 production began in FY04. Block 10 funding is required for integrating and testing the Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM), a system to provide protection against infrared guided missiles; design, integration and validation of the Troop Commander Situational Awareness station to provide the embarked troop commander access to the CV-22's communication, navigation and mission management system; relocation of the ALE-47 chaff and flare dispenser control head to allow any cockpit crew member to activate defensive countermeasures; addition of a second forward firing chaff and flare dispenser to provide an adequate quantity of consumable countermeasures for the extended duration of SOF infiltration/exfiltration/resupply missions; and incorporation of a dual access feature to the Digital Map System to allow both the pilot and copilot to independently access and control the digital map display from the mission computer. This program included modification of an existing undelivered MV-22 to a CV-22 Additional Test Aircraft (ATA) configuration, thus providing a third flight test asset.
CV-22 Block 20
CV-22 Block 20 - Provides growth and expanded Special Operations capability
to the V-22 while continuing to provide R&M improvements. MV-22B Block C plus mission enhancements and upgrades Block 20 will provide an enhanced CV-unique configuration with communications and aircraft system performance upgrades.
CV-22 Block 20 funding was required to design, integrate, test, and validate enhancements required to meet SOF unique mission requirements and correction of deficiencies identified in previous testing. This block would provide more robust performance of the CV platform in navigation, maneuverability and mission deployment. Initial risk reduction and trade studies would be pursued prior to starting System Development and Demonstration. Block 20 would provide SOCOM Mission Enhancements, while Block 25 provides Air Force Mission Enhancements.
CV-22 Block 30
CV-22 Block 30 - Provides growth in net-readiness and interoperability. Incorporates an advanced special operations forces radar. CV-22 Block 30 funding was required to design, integrate, test, and validate enhancements required to meet SOF unique mission requirements to maintain performance against the evolving threat environment. This block would provide improve survivability and performance against potential threats through reduction in electronic signature emissions and improved countermeasures. Initial risk reduction and trade studies would be pursued prior to starting System Development and Demonstration.
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list