Feb. 10 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy and Boeing announced the delivery of its first tiltrotor CMV-22B Osprey-variant aircraft on Monday.
The plane, built by Boeing and Bell Textron with 47 more ordered by the Navy, will replace the aging C-2A Greyhound fleet of planes.
It is designed to transport personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers, and is the only plane capable of carrying major components of F-35 engines directly to a carrier flight deck, a critical feature of Navy logistics.
The first Navy CMV-22B Osprey was delivered to the Navy at Bell’s manufacturing facilities in Amarillo, Texas. The planes will be based at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, Calif., and Naval Air Station Norfolk in Virginia. It completed it first flight on Jan. 21 in Amarillo.
The plane, with increased fuel capacity over previous V-22 variants, can carry up to 6,000 pounds for up to 1,150 nautical miles, and first flew in December. About 200 examples of the plane, with short takeoff and landing capabilities, have been built in various iterations by the consortium of Bell Helicopters and Boeing Defense, Space and Security in 2007.
“The CMV-22B brings expanded capabilities not only to the carrier onboard delivery mission, but to the high-end fight,” U.S. Navy Capt. Dewon Chaney, Commodore of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing, said in a press release. “We are anxious to get it to the fleet and show off its immense capabilities and agile flexibility.”