CMV-22B COD suitability questioned?

Gepubliceerd op 14 februari 2024 om 14:17

© Richard Collens

Early February 2024, the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) issued their Fiscal Year 2023 report on the CMV-22B Carrier onboard Delivery (COD) Osprey.

Although the US Navy achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the CMV-22B in December 2021, operational testing has been delayed and is still going on. Initially, Full Operational Capability (FOC) was expected in FY23, but has now shifted to FY24. In December 2022, a second period of Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) started to evaluate the operational effectiveness, suitability, and cyber survivability of the CMV-22B aircraft equipped with the Communications Upgrade suite. This set of testing is scheduled to complete in Q1-FY24.

As already reported in the combined report of June 2022, the DOT&E found that CMV-22B was not operationally suitable due to failures of many subsystems, with the ice protection system accounting for 44 percent of the total operational mission failures. Additionally, the maintenance hours per flight hour (MH/FH) did not meet the requirement, with 45 percent of the total MH/FH attributed to special inspections
and scheduled maintenance requirements.

In June 2024 (Q2-FY24), the DOT&E will publish a follow-on combined FOT&E and LFT&E (Live Fire Test & Evaluation) report.

Even before the fatal crash with the USAF CV-22B Osprey in Japan on 29 November 2023 which forced the US Department of Defense to ground all V-22 Osprey operations, the US Navy CMV-22B was experiencing serious issues limiting the ability to perform assigned missions.

© Carey Mavor

The grounding and the uncertainty of the return of the Osprey forced the US Navy to rethink its plans on how to resupply the fleet aircraft carriers in the short-term and the long term. The initial plan was to retire the remaining fifteen C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft over the next two years and replace them with a total of 38 CMV-22B Ospreys.

As part of the planned Greyhound retirement, the US Navy has stopped training new C-2 pilots and has begun to wind down spares and logistic support for the 60-year-old design. That transition, completed on the West Coast, is now stalled with the grounding of the V-22.

As of Tuesday (13 February), the Ospreys have been out of operation for 69 days with no indication how long the grounding could continue. The grounding forced the Navy to swap out the CMV-22Bs aboard West Coast carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) with Greyhounds of the East Coast Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 Rawhides.