NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md– The V-22 Osprey surpassed the 600,000 flight hour milestone in February, a count beginning with first flight in 1989.
The milestone is attributed to the Air Force Special Operations Forces, Marine Corps and Navy squadrons flying and maintaining an inventory of more than 400 aircraft in fleet operations, training and flight test around the world.
“Each V-22 flight hour is the product of a team effort,” said Col. Matthew Kelly, V-22 Joint Program Office program manager. “Enabled by pilots, maintainers, testers, engineers, the program workforce and our industry partners who, together, ensure safe and effective V-22 operation.”
Readiness continues to be a key priority in the program office, with several efforts underway to ensure the platform remains ready, relevant and flying through at least 2050.
The Marine Corps’ Common Configuration – Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) program continues to make progress, delivering three aircraft to date. The CC-RAM program reduces the number of configurations in the MV-22 fleet to a handful, streamlining maintenance times, improving readiness and enhancing capabilities and reliability.
For the Air Force, Naval Air Systems Command recently awarded Bell Boeing an $81 million contract to develop, design and install nacelle modification kits and install conversion area harnesses on the CV-22. The program refines the design of the nacelles and wiring harnesses for better maintainability, ultimately reducing repair time and improving readiness.
Finally, the Navy continues flight test of the CMV-22B, the newest V-22 variant designed to take on the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission, replacing the venerable C-2A Greyhound. The CMV-22B will be capable of transporting up to 6,000 pounds of cargo/personnel to a 1,150 nautical mile range. The V-22’s ability to take off and land vertically, as well as short-takeoff-and-land, makes it more versatile than the stalwart C-2A, further allowing the Osprey the flexibility to serve any shore or sea base as well as aircraft carriers and amphibious ships.
The V-22 program is also focused on expanding the capabilities of the platform including digital interoperability upgrades and systems designed to improve pilot handling in degraded visual environments.
“I see the Osprey flying well into the future, lending its unique and versatile capabilities to our Sailors, Marines and Airmen for countless flight hours to come,” said Kelly.
The V-22 family of aircraft are designed to fly for the next 30 years and remain the only tiltrotor in production.
PMA-275 manages the cradle-to-grave procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the tiltrotor program systems for the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations Forces and U.S. Navy.