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Information and questions about the MV-22 / CV-22 Osprey

yasotay

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Didn't see this one coming. Apparently Indonesia has asked to acquire 8 MV-22C. Seems a useful piece of kit for an nation that is somewhere north of 4000 Km long and has several thousand (?) islands.
 

helmutkohl

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official, Trump clears Osprey deal for Indonesia

not a big fan of the Osprey (personally prefer conventional helicopters)
but this is such a sick scheme!
TNI-AD-MV22-1024x508.png
 

elmayerle

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But we might see such configured Osprey for the Marines. The MQ-25 won't be available for them once away from the main carrier force.

I'd forgotten, but they were supposed to be testing a roll-on refuelling kit last year.

www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-07-18/osprey-begin-refueling-tests-next-year

Anyone heard anything about how these tests went?

Do CV-22 have any under-wing hard-points at mid-span?
Is it possible to mount hose and drum units similar to KC-130?
Not very easily, the wing structure would need revising to add underwing hardpoints. The biggest problem with underwing stores on the Osprey is keeping the front of them clear of the envelope of the proprotor on either side. Dry hookups have been done with a simulated refueling kit but I don't know how far the development work on VARS (V-22 Aerial Refuelling System) has gone. I should note that the CMV-22B wing has been modified from that of the MV-22B to add further fuel capacity there, too.

I would expect the new tanks are not well faired in because it would have negligible effect at the speeds the V-22 flies.
 

TomS

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Not very easily, the wing structure would need revising to add underwing hardpoints. The biggest problem with underwing stores on the Osprey is keeping the front of them clear of the envelope of the proprotor on either side. Dry hookups have been done with a simulated refueling kit but I don't know how far the development work on VARS (V-22 Aerial Refuelling System) has gone.

It looks like funding for VARS was removed from the FY2020 budget request. So it's probably dead unless Congress plus-upped it.

https://www.dacis.com/budget/budget_pdf/FY20/PROC/N/0590_58.pdf
 

yasotay

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The old adage of having complimentary and overlapping capabilities seems to be gone from the military lexicon. I imagine it was either the drone or the Osprey got the job for the Carrier Group. Drone was likely cheaper. Probably better anyway as turbulence behind the Osprey is pretty spectacular, other than directly behind the aircraft.
 

TomS

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The old adage of having complimentary and overlapping capabilities seems to be gone from the military lexicon. I imagine it was either the drone or the Osprey got the job for the Carrier Group. Drone was likely cheaper. Probably better anyway as turbulence behind the Osprey is pretty spectacular, other than directly behind the aircraft.

It is kind of sad to take the option off the table for the "Lightning Carrier" concept. But let's be fair; Osprey wasn't going to have much "give" even under the best of circumstances. And we know the carrier bubba's have a vested interest in not making the LHA option any more attractive.
 

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Well, do not forget that the 247 was in the line. Now that this one is dead or might be resurfacing as a simpler system, we might see a refueling pod on an Osprey back.

But let's remind all that Marines dedicated refuelling platforms is the... King. Ground refuelling in austere landing pad from CH-53K is the way Marines were planning to do such.
;)
 

_Del_

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The old adage of having complimentary and overlapping capabilities seems to be gone from the military lexicon. I imagine it was either the drone or the Osprey got the job for the Carrier Group. Drone was likely cheaper. Probably better anyway as turbulence behind the Osprey is pretty spectacular, other than directly behind the aircraft.
Off load for recovery tanking was unimpressive. And far worse numbers for mission tanking at range.

Having said that, it seems like a low-cost option, is RO/RO, would almost certainly work with the COD version as well, and it's the only possible (organic) option available to the gator navy... So of course they cut it.
 

yasotay

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The old adage of having complimentary and overlapping capabilities seems to be gone from the military lexicon. I imagine it was either the drone or the Osprey got the job for the Carrier Group. Drone was likely cheaper. Probably better anyway as turbulence behind the Osprey is pretty spectacular, other than directly behind the aircraft.
Off load for recovery tanking was unimpressive. And far worse numbers for mission tanking at range.

Having said that, it seems like a low-cost option, is RO/RO, would almost certainly work with the COD version as well, and it's the only possible (organic) option available to the gator navy... So of course they cut it.

Given the Commandant's spectacular decision to end/reduce amphibious assault, with the rational that big amphibs are outclassed in modern A2/AD peer environments, one has to assume that the USMC assault force (MAGTF [?]) will need to operate over more extended lines. While the KC-130J is a fine refueler, there are not a lot of them. MH-53K hot refuel FARP could work but calls for very exquisite timing with little option for failure. This has me wondering if this might revise thinking within the Corps toward the VARS capability.
 

_Del_

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Maybe they envision LCACs (and helo's?) with bladders running EABO jaunts to little atolls, but I don't see how VARS really competes with that. Distinct differences in capabilities. And VARS is viable in blue water, the FARP, not so much. CH-53K has payload, but what does range look like with that load (honest question)?

I think EABO is brilliant, if --big if -- they resist the temptation to make them too big (you're already seeing talk in the wrong direction). You send out a few LCACs with a NMESIS battery, a LAAD unit, serve as a FARP as necessary, be a bit of a surprise nuisance and rob them of initiative -- effectively an unsinkable picket or screen for the Gators and rest of the fleet.

The problem is resisting the temptation to take and hold them as fortresses, as opposed to simply loading back up and heading for island #2 or back to the gators after a day or two and keeping them guessing as to what is where or when one will pop up. Already, we've seen Marine officers start talking about supporting Air Force operations on improved fields, which is where this shouldn't head. They need to be "They Were Expendable" light and mobile .
 

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Indonesia cleared to get 8 Osprey:
Indonesia was cleared to spend an estimated $2 billion to buy eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft. Also included are 24 AE 1107C Rolls-Royce engines; 20 each of the AN/AAQ-27 forward-Looking infrared radars, AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers; and 20 each of the M-240-D 7.64mm machine guns and GAU-21 machine guns, among other gear.


Now what they need is some gun Pods (forward firing)
 

TomS

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Indonesia cleared to get 8 Osprey:
Indonesia was cleared to spend an estimated $2 billion to buy eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft. Also included are 24 AE 1107C Rolls-Royce engines; 20 each of the AN/AAQ-27 forward-Looking infrared radars, AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers; and 20 each of the M-240-D 7.64mm machine guns and GAU-21 machine guns, among other gear.


Now what they need is some gun Pods (forward firing)

As currently designed, Osprey doesn't really have anywhere to put forward-firing weapons, including gun pods. They lashed up a pylon for testing, but that's not a standard fitting.

They could reinstate the chin turret, though.
 

stealthflanker

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Otherwise, just let other platform that can keep up with Ospreys as fire support. Thus why there is Invictus and that concept of Apache with pusher propeller.
 

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Not all countries would be able to afford a supportive Helo force.
Indonesians would need air interdiction once their platoons have disembarked and a forward facing 30mm gun, Aden like, would do the trick, keeping opposing force from dismounting their own elements.
This is conjunctural but why not a doublet of guns like a DEFA 550 mount?
 
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yasotay

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While I agree that any aircraft that is expected to land on contested real estate ought to have the means to defend itself, I am not so convinced that they need to have massive firepower. Certainly one could argue the Mi24/35 has demonstrated a form of well-armed assault platform, but to my knowledge it has not been used as such but infrequently. Of course the Mi-8/17 can carry a whacking huge weapon load out, but I do not know if anyone habitually loads both weapons and passengers. The US Special Operations Aviation Regiment has elected to use an assault platform as an attack platform (mostly for logistical reasons I suspect), but they do not use the DAP as a lift platform except in extremis situations (i.e. extraction).

Another aspect of this is that good assault pilots do not often make good attack pilots, and vice versa. The amount of flight time available to train to a good standard in many countries is limited. Even in those countries who can afford a goodly amount of training, tend to keep aircrew focused on their primary mission. Honestly I don’t know that I would want some person who got to spray some 20mm cannon rounds on a range once a year providing CLOSE support to me.

I think Indonesia got the aircraft for its ability to move supplies (limited) after natural disasters. Something that occurs with unfortunate regularity there. I think they observed the performance of MV-22 in the Philippines, Japan, and other places immediately after an event. Several of which had airports rendered unusable from damage. Since a majority of the islands that make up the nation are without any airfields, or ones able to support even C-130, it becomes an attractive alternative.
 
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TomS

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The Indonesian Air Force has a squadron of Super Tucanos for light attack/COIN roles. Those would seem to be ideal escorts for Ospreys operating from land bases (similar cruise speeds and operating radius). The combination makes sense as a sort of COIN rapid response force. One would hope to see them co-located for such operations.
 

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@yasotay : As @TomS remarked, the existence of Tucano aircraft among aircraft flown by the Indonesian air force makes the need redundant. The idea of locally fitting DEFA mount, a lightweight, reliable and affordable gun, was to interdict enemy force to land their own troop by setting a Tarcap against helicopters. The Osprey once empty could have patrolled the area in airplane mode and use axially mounted guns.
 

TomS

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Thing is, Osprey is tricky for forward-firing guns, especially large ones. There's really no clear spot for them to clear the prop-rotor arc. For its own ahead-firing weapon trials, the USMC essentially improvised a cheek pylon alongside the cockpit to hang a small APKWS pod or a couple of Griffins. That's much lighter than a DEFA gunpod would be (and recoilless, which a gun pod is not).

Also, every pound of armament is troops and fuel you can't carry, and the Osprey needs every bit of both. Adding 600 pounds of gun pods (a decent estimate for a DEFA) would be about 2 troops less in back.

The Marines have expressed interest in some sort of belly gun to improve on the unloved Interim Defensive Weapon System that fit in the floor hatch. But that's likely to be a rifle-caliber machine gun, not a heavy canon.
 

AeroFranz

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The Indonesian Air Force has a squadron of Super Tucanos for light attack/COIN roles. Those would seem to be ideal escorts for Ospreys operating from land bases (similar cruise speeds and operating radius). The combination makes sense as a sort of COIN rapid response force. One would hope to see them co-located for such operations.

It's certainly a better fit. I don't see Invictus keeping up with an Osprey, especially over long distances. The Bell configuration is really not optimized for high speed. I see that propulsive APU (that's not the name they use, they call it something else) as a gimmick that allows them to tick the FARA high speed requirement, box but makes it very inefficient to stay there for long. I could be wrong, but it seems a case of compensating with power for penalized aerodynamics.
FWIW, the Bell strategy is entirely defensible if you think that you get more value by doing the slow mission sets better.
 

TomS

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Didn't see this one coming. Apparently Indonesia has asked to acquire 8 MV-22C. Seems a useful piece of kit for an nation that is somewhere north of 4000 Km long and has several thousand (?) islands.

Just one thing to clarify here. Indonesia has requested MV-22B Block C aircraft, not MV-22C. Block C is the latest configuration of the MV-22B. MV-22B Block B aircraft either have been or are being upgraded to Block C. A lot of articles out there are incorrectly referring to this as MV-22C, but the actual MV-22C is a next-generation development for the 2030s to roll in technology from FVL. This terminology is incredibly dumb and almost intentionally confusing. DSCA doesn't help by dropping the "B" entirely and just referring to the Indonesian aircraft as MV-22 Block C.

The Marine Corps is in the early stages of planning to build a new, high-tech MV-22C variant Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to enter service by the mid-2030s, service officials said.

While many of the details of the new aircraft are not yet available, Corps officials told Scout Warrior that the MV-22C will take advantage of emerging and next-generation aviation technologies.
 

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Watched a V-22 flying around Oxford (UK) yesterday. Surprisingly quiet in forward flight. You can normally hear a RAF Benson Chinook for minutes before you see it. Nice kit but I dread to think what the UK armed forces would have to put on a capability gap to pay for them :D

I would have thought that the V-22 would make a good Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft for the Royal Navy to supply the new aircraft carriers.
 

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Watched a V-22 flying around Oxford (UK) yesterday. Surprisingly quiet in forward flight. You can normally hear a RAF Benson Chinook for minutes before you see it. Nice kit but I dread to think what the UK armed forces would have to put on a capability gap to pay for them :D

I would have thought that the V-22 would make a good Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft for the Royal Navy to supply the new aircraft carriers.
It would, and there's a hot production line for just such a variant. Alas, I'm not optimistic.
 

yasotay

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Love the bird, but they ain't cheap. No doubt there are a number of folks within the MoD who would love to have them, but with an ever dwindling budget I have to agree with Moose and others in not being optimistic at the RN acquisition chances. Perhaps they will ask the USMC to station a detachment aboard. Stranger things have happened.
 

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Seems they would need some local assembly. That shouldn't be hard to negociate for Bell-Boeing.
 

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Poor PR. Someone in our DOD is basically feel being "overstepped" on the decision.

There can be no DSCA issued without anyone in the DOD actually file the LOR (Letter of Request).

Alternatively, could someone in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs be possibly trying to bounce the DOD into a procurement as part of some quo quid pro with the U.S. State Department?
 

yasotay

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Did anyone see any comments from Boeing or Bell? Usually they are very quick to pop the champagne on V-22 "good news". Perhaps they were also caught unaware of the pending sale. Think the idea that someone overstepped in Indonesia seems plausable.
 

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Dear Tom S,
Some military terminology is deliberately confusing.
If that odd terminology confused you, it will also confuse Al Queda, Boko Haram, etc.
 

TomS

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Dear Tom S,
Some military terminology is deliberately confusing.
If that odd terminology confused you, it will also confuse Al Queda, Boko Haram, etc.

Do we really think this is an OPSEC issue? Seriously? Does AQ care whether the Osprey that just landed on them is a MV-22B or C?

For comparison, the Air Force uses numerical block numbers (Block 0/10) for their CV-22Bs, which is much more typical (post F-16, anyway).
 

yasotay

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Dear Tom S,
Some military terminology is deliberately confusing.
If that odd terminology confused you, it will also confuse Al Queda, Boko Haram, etc.

Do we really think this is an OPSEC issue? Seriously? Does AQ care whether the Osprey that just landed on them is a MV-22B or C?

For comparison, the Air Force uses numerical block numbers (Block 0/10) for their CV-22Bs, which is much more typical (post F-16, anyway).

I am reminded of the old adage that Americans are the only people who write copious amounts of doctrine and then fail to abide by it.
 

yasotay

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Saw this on Twitter from DEW Line: Last night, a USMC official announced plans for a V-22 Next program, which is considering either extensive design changes or an all-new aircraft to dramatically improve or replace the 32-year-old tiltrotor.

Behind the paywall, but very interesting timing with the USN also taking on FVL MS.
 

yasotay

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The recent AW&ST article on USN/USMC for a follow-on or replacement for MV-22B is behind the AWIN pay wall. If anyone knows a means to access the article (other than shelling out significant chase) I would be very grateful for the information.
 

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I was watching a USMC aviation panel hosted by the Vertical Flight Society. One of the presenters was Col Matthew G. Kelly, Program Manager, PMA 275, V-22 Joint Program. The impression i got was that V-22 Next was a misnomer and they're interested in incremental improvements in reliability availability, maintainability. There was something about redoing the nacelles wiring, which apparently has been a problem. They did say something to the tune that the V-22's survivability is enhanced by being able to go 280 knots, but they're asking themselves "what happens if you can go 550 knots?". This was a long term question, i didn't get the impression there was any serious discussion or study at the moment. I think it just points at where future requirements might go.
 

yasotay

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I was watching a USMC aviation panel hosted by the Vertical Flight Society. One of the presenters was Col Matthew G. Kelly, Program Manager, PMA 275, V-22 Joint Program. The impression i got was that V-22 Next was a misnomer and they're interested in incremental improvements in reliability availability, maintainability. There was something about redoing the nacelles wiring, which apparently has been a problem. They did say something to the tune that the V-22's survivability is enhanced by being able to go 280 knots, but they're asking themselves "what happens if you can go 550 knots?". This was a long term question, i didn't get the impression there was any serious discussion or study at the moment. I think it just points at where future requirements might go.
Thank you for the information. It is what I suspected, but could not confirm.
 

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Expanding on the issue of nacelle maintenance- from Vertiflite, March 2021
"
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced
on Jan. 27 that it had awarded Bell Boeing a contract to
develop, design and install nacelle modification kits and
install conversion area harnesses on the CV-22 Osprey,
the Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC)
variant of the tiltrotor aircraft. Approximately 60% of
maintenance man hours are spent in the nacelles
, said
Air Force Col. Brian Clifford, the PMA-275 CV-22 program
manager. Initial kit delivery and installations covered in
the contract are scheduled for completion in late 2021
at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas. The Marine
Corps and Navy are also looking to incorporate the
nacelle and wiring improvements onto the MV-22 and
CMV-22B variants. At a Feb. 4 VFS Federal City Chapter
meeting (see “Virtual Meetings Continue to Provide
Timely Information,” pg. 78), Marine Corps Col. Chris
Boniface noted that the Marines were planning a “V-22
Next” effort to improve availability, specifically calling out
the nacelles as a significant issue."
 

GTX

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Expanding on the issue of nacelle maintenance- from Vertiflite, March 2021
"
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced
on Jan. 27 that it had awarded Bell Boeing a contract to
develop, design and install nacelle modification kits and
install conversion area harnesses on the CV-22 Osprey,
the Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC)
variant of the tiltrotor aircraft. Approximately 60% of
maintenance man hours are spent in the nacelles
, said
Air Force Col. Brian Clifford, the PMA-275 CV-22 program
manager. Initial kit delivery and installations covered in
the contract are scheduled for completion in late 2021
at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas. The Marine
Corps and Navy are also looking to incorporate the
nacelle and wiring improvements onto the MV-22 and
CMV-22B variants. At a Feb. 4 VFS Federal City Chapter
meeting (see “Virtual Meetings Continue to Provide
Timely Information,” pg. 78), Marine Corps Col. Chris
Boniface noted that the Marines were planning a “V-22
Next” effort to improve availability, specifically calling out
the nacelles as a significant issue."
Does that imply engines as well?
 

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