The Navy has decided to buy 12 V-22 Ospreys for its carrier delivery (COD) role (1) which is currently filled by the C-2 Greyhound. The Greyhound, you’ll recall, is a variant of the E-2 Hawkeye.
At a quick glance, the V-22 and C-2 appear to have very similar cargo and passenger capacities. The main difference appears to be in their range. Wiki cites the V-22 as having an 880 nm range while the C-2 is listed at 1300 nm. I would have assumed that range was a pretty important factor for reaching carriers well out at sea but, to be fair, I don’t know what the range requirements are.
The other aspect of this decision that is somewhat puzzling is that the C-2 is supportable on the carrier in that it shares commonality with the E-2. How will a V-22 be supported?
I have no problem with selecting the V-22 but it is a slightly puzzling choice when range and support are factored in. I hope this is not a politically motivated decision that sacrifices performance for political expediency.
(1) "Navy Decides to Buy V-22 Ospreys for Carrier Delivery", Richard Whittle,