Tuesday, April 26, 2016

COD Mods

The Navy has selected the V-22 as the next carrier delivery (COD) aircraft.  Bell-Boeing has been given a $151M contract to design the COD version of the plane, as described by a USNI website article (1).

The funding, adding onto an existing contract with Bell-Boeing, covers non-recurring engineering costs to add extended range, high frequency beyond line-of-sight radio and a public address system to the baseline MV-22 used by the Marine Corps. 

The cost of this is absolutely appalling.  Bell-Boeing wants $151M to add a radio, a public address system, and extended range modifications?  It ought to take about ten thousand dollars of design work to add a radio.  A public address system?  Seriously?  That should cost about a thousand dollars of design effort.  That leaves almost the entire $151M for extended range modifications.  Here’s the thing, though, the Air Force’s CV-22 is already an extended range V-22.  The extended range engineering has already been done.  The CV-22 has extra wing fuel tanks and three auxiliary cabin tanks can also be added.

The Navy’s unrefueled range requirement for the V-22 COD is 1150 nm (2).

The Air Force fact file lists a combat radius for the CV-22 of 500 nm with one internal fuel tank.  That means a one way range (which is what a COD flight profile is) of 1000 nm.

The NavAir Navy fact file lists a range for the CV-22 of 2100 nm with internal fuel tanks (number unspecified). (3)

Wiki lists an MV-22 range of 879 nm and a ferry range of 1940 nm with internal auxiliary tanks.

Wiki cites the existing C-2 Greyhound COD as having a range of 1300 nm, for comparison.

Thus, the CV-22 already has an unrefueled range that’s almost 1000 miles greater than the Navy’s requirement.  Of course, the max ferry range requires internal fuel tanks which take away from the cargo capacity of the aircraft but the CV-22 meets the range requirement with a single internal fuel tank.  Presumably, the CV-22’s wing tanks offer sufficient range with no need for internal fuel tanks.  The point is, the engineering has already been done.  Why are we giving Bell-Boeing $151M to engineer something that has already been done?

Why?


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(1)USNI News website, “NAVAIR Awards Bell-Boeing $151 Million To Begin Navy-Variant V-22 Design”, Megan Eckstein, April 1, 2016,

(2)USNI News website, “NAVAIR Details Changes in Navy V-22 Osprey Variant”, Megan Eckstein, April 2, 2015,



44 comments:

  1. As for the 'HF beyond line of sight radio' wasnt the V-22 expected to do trans atlantic self deployment. Why wasnt it thought back then that 'long range radios' would have been an essential item - for every V-22 built, not just the CMV type.

    For the extra range I understood it was an external modification to the sponsons.
    "“The Navy’s minimum requirement for the V-22 Navy variant is 1,150 nm,”
    www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-reveals-cmv-22b-as-long-range-osprey-designa-421620/

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    1. That article is not definitive about what the long range modification will be. I have yet to see any specific description of how the Navy will achieve their range goal.

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  2. The V-22 cannot meet these specs, according to Boeing's V-22 handbook!

    www.boeing.com/ospreynews/...01/final_8jun2010_179638.pdf

    It notes 700 miles max range if flown at 24,700 feet.

    The V-22 is partially heated and unpressurized, so crews must wear arctic gear and wear masks above 10,000 feet. However, this is limited to less than an hour for safety reasons, so it flies slower at 8000 feet in thicker air and range is reduced.

    Boeing says one tank only gives it another half hour of flight time, which is not nearly enough to reach the 1150nm requirement. And of course rolling this fuel tank into the cargo bay cuts payload in half. The Admirals must know this, so what's going on?

    Why not just buy new C-2s, that can roll off the EC-2 production line with the latest engines and props that give it twice the performance of a V-22?

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    1. You are right the Mv-22 cant meet the specs. thats why they are developing a CMV-22B that can.

      "“To best support the Navy’s ‘rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region’ as directed by the Defense Strategic Guidance (January 2012), the COD requires the ability to transport cargo loads at least 1,150 nm under the environmental conditions most commonly found in the Pacific"

      This not designed as a 'troop carrier', its oriented towards cargo, with some high value passengers .
      The USNI story says the C-2 Greyhound reset was more expensive and the CMV22 could directly resupply destroyers and other ships in the fleet using their existing helicopter deck

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    2. "The USNI story says the C-2 Greyhound reset was more expensive and the CMV22 could directly resupply destroyers and other ships in the fleet using their existing helicopter deck"

      Maybe. I'd like to see the damned numbers on that, but maybe.

      But that's purchase price. Projected purchase price. How much do you want to bet we see cost overruns? The advantage of a C2 off the E2 factory floor is that the overrun risk is minimal.

      And beyond that, as someone else pointed out, we just *doubled* the logistical tail, and did it with a *very* maintenance intensive aircraft.

      I'd love to see a real study comparing the life cycle costs.

      Years ago the Navy had an idea for a common carrier aircraft that could do AEW, COD, and tanking. There's enough similarity that we should be able to do that, have the aircraft do each job well, and combine those logistics lines.

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    3. Current E-2 s cost $100 million plus off the production line, before the AEW gear. A C-2 is not an E-2. They have completely different fuselages. On top of that the Navy is expensing development and start up costs for E-2 across 75 AC. Development costs of a new C-2 would be expensed across just 40 some AC. New C-2s would likely: Cost at least 20% more than the current E-2 airframe (= $120million plus); involve a long wait as development, testing and certifications would take much time as well as needing to wait until after E-2 production is complete unless a new parallel production line was also built and paid for; have little commonality with any other aircraft in mission training; provide no more mission flexibility than the current C-2 which over 50 years has proven to have next to no mission flexibility, etc etc.

      It takes about 15 minutes of reasearch, 5 minutes of back of the envelope listing of pros and cons and 10 minutes figuring numbers to realize a new boutique C-2 has next to zero chance of being less expensive initially or operationally than the mass produced, mass operated v-22. You just can't do 40 aircraft as cheap as 400.

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    4. "It takes about 15 minutes of reasearch, 5 minutes of back of the envelope listing of pros and cons and 10 minutes figuring numbers to realize a new boutique C-2 has next to zero chance of being less expensive initially or operationally than the mass produced, mass operated v-22. You just can't do 40 aircraft as cheap as 400."

      You're overlooking several factors.

      The C-2 has a significant degree of commonality with the E-2, including wings, engines, tail structure, etc. This is an advantage in terms of on-the-carrier maintenance as opposed to having to stand up an entirely new V-22 maintenance capability, mechanics, parts storage, etc.

      A new production C-2 would have little R&D costs. It's already been built. I don't know what new equipment, if any, would need to be added. Avionics, perhaps? A simple repeat production would entail little development. The final cost ought to be less than an E-2 since it would have no AWACS type radar, computers, or electronics.

      The C-2 "fits" carrier ops. The wings fold, it can be maintained in the hangar (as opposed to the V-22 which needs a large footprint on the flight deck to conduct maintenance), there is no heat related impact to the flight deck, it's maintenance requirements are already part of the carrier, and it fits neatly into the carrier's normal flight ops.

      The V-22 is an inherently dangerous aircraft to fly. A V-22 crashing into a loaded carrier would be catastrophic. To be fair, any aircraft crash is a major problem but the V-22 has a much higher chance of such an incident.

      It remains to be seen how a V-22 can and will be integrated into normal carrier flight ops.

      Cost is one of the less important characteristics of a combat asset. Mission performance and effectiveness is far more important. That doesn't mean we can ignore costs but the military is not a business and accounting can't trump mission effectiveness.

      The C-2 can carry 10-20,000 lbs depending on what reference you look at. It's unclear what the V-22 payload will be but the need to extend its range will likely result in a downgrade in cargo capacity. Also, the C-2 is optimized for cargo handling with a rear powered winch and shaped fuselage.

      The C-2 can operate at 33,000 ft and, I believe, has a heated and pressurized cabin whereas the V-22 is limited to less than 10,000 ft and is not heated/pressurized in the main fuselage section.

      Finally, your statement that we can't do 40 aircraft as cheaply as 400 is completely wrong. Here's a conceptual example. If 400 aircraft cost $1 each, that's a total expenditure of $400. If 40 aircraft cost $2 each (twice as much), the total expenditure is $80. So, yes, the 40 aircraft cost 80% less. The per-aircraft cost borders on irrelevant. The total program cost is what's important.

      All that said, I'm not necessarily advocating for a new C-2 as the COD. I am, however, recognizing that the V-22 was likely selected for reasons that have little or nothing to do with mission performance.

      It may be that a few more minutes of analysis is warranted.

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    5. "You're overlooking several factors." Ditto.

      "The C-2 has a significant degree of commonality with the E-2, ..."

      Parts commonality is only a part of operational commonality. E-2 and C-2 have little operational commonality. In addition COD planes often spend as much time or more time off the carrier than on and at times aren't even based on the carrier they are just assigned to it.

      "A simple repeat production would entail little development."

      There is no doing a "repeat production". The production line is long closed and the technology was 1950s tech. Grumman doesn,t even exist. A new C-2 would have to be built on a new prod. line with modern technology, just as the E-2 is, hence the $100 million + cost of just the airframe.

      "The C-2 "fits" carrier ops" The Navy tested V-22 in carrier ops and found no negative impacts. It can land inside the normal launch/ recovery cycle by sto/sl/stoval or outside the cycle by Vtol. Which greatly expands the # of COD deliveries possible. The only maint of V-22 that has to occur on deck is nacelle rotation, the V-22 fits in the hanger folded partially folded and with engines vertical.

      "The V-22 is an inherently dangerous aircraft to fly."

      This is often stated but unsupported by fact. The V-22 class A mishap rate is about 1.75/ 100,000. Navy dept aviation overall rate averaged over 10 years runs about 1.75/100,000. V-22 is not statistically more dangerous.

      "Mission performance and effectiveness is far more important."

      The Navy believes V-22 will be more effective in cost and performance than C-2. COD is not an aircraft it is a function. That function involves a chain of systems of which the C-2 is only one part. To complete the system helicopters, on ship systems, airports are also involved. Analysis has indicated V-22 will be substantially more efficient as the winged component of that system. Just the fact it doesn't always need a long runway substantially aids the mission, esp. for transfer of personnel as well as its ability to incorporate MSC ships in the COD loop.

      "The C-2 can carry 10-20,000 lbs depending on what reference you look at." So can the V-22. What matters is the range at the targeted and necessary loads. Those are engineering considerations on which little data is readily available to compare v-22 to c-2 in actual use. Your statement is pure shot in the dark speculation.

      "C-2 is optimized for cargo handling" The C-2 also pounds the hell out of its cargo and passengers on every catapult and capture. The V-22 can land delicate cargo like a feather.

      "The C-2 can operate at 33,000 ft and, I believe, has a heated and pressurized cabin whereas the V-22 is limited to less than 10,000 ft and is not heated/pressurized in the main fuselage section."

      The C-2 has to take off and land only when the carrier is doing cyclic ops. The V-22 can fly anytime conditions are right, it can take off without a catapult and land without cable, stop off on any qualified ship or heliport, and suck fuel as needed with inflight refueling. The C-2 does some things well the v-22 does some things well. What matters is which of those things yield more efficiency and flexibility. Operational options matter.

      "Finally, your statement that we can't do 40 aircraft as cheaply as 400 is completely wrong." Your concept is just that a concept. The history of aircraft construction is that building 40 a/c for a particular mission is never as efficient as 10 times that many. The Navy would probably have to buy at least 2 hand built disposable prototypes of a new C-2 just to meet testing needs. That would be 300 million down the drain right there.

      "It may be that a few more minutes of analysis is warranted." Suggest you give it a try.

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    6. "E-2 and C-2 have little operational commonality"
      Not sure how or why that's relevant. Parts commonality, on the other hand, lowers construction and maintenance costs.

      "There is no doing a "repeat production"."
      Of course there is. We simply build a new production line. The point which you seem to have missed or ignored is that the aircraft has already been designed, built, and debugged which saves almost the entire research and development costs. That's a huge savings over a new aircraft. Of course, the same is true of the V-22 since it already exists.

      "The V-22 class A mishap rate"
      The V-22 mishap rate is generally conceded to be vastly under-reported. If you choose not to believe that you're ignoring a fair amount of evidence. Seriously, you need to do some additional Internet research on V-22 reported versus actual mishap rates. The evidence is pretty strong that mishaps are being deliberately hugely under-reported. Check it out and let me know what you think. Have an open mind.

      "The Navy believes V-22 will be more effective"
      Do I really need to go the litany of all the things the Navy believes that have been proven wrong?

      "The V-22 can land delicate cargo like a feather."
      Wow! That's some bias, there! I understand the C-2 passenger survival rate is up to almost 40% on carrier landings and instances of up to 20% intact cargo deliveries have occurred.

      "Your concept is just that a concept. The history of aircraft construction is that building 40 a/c for a particular mission is never as efficient as 10 times that many."
      We're talking simple total costs. Nothing more or less.

      As I said, the V-22 may be suitable for the COD role but it's clear that the Navy made the decision for reasons other than pure mission effectiveness.

      I also have severe doubts that the V-22 can take off in vertical mode from a carrier with significant payloads. I suspect that the V-22 will require immediate aerial refuelings after takeoff that the C-2 would not. Ditto on landing. Vertical mode gulps fuel at a prodigious rate!

      Finally, until we see some payload performance stats, none of us can compare C-2 to V-22 to new design for COD. From everything I know about the C-2 and V-22, however, I would be surprised if the V-22 is really the better choice. I think the V-22 was selected for the obvious political reasons.

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    7. Parts are a minor cost compared to training and personnel and other full system support costs. COD aircrew are not AEW aircrew. With the V-22 the Navy has commonality with 300+ Navy Dept logistics aircraft to leverage on bases all over the world. With C-2 it has commonality with 75 AEW aircraft that fly 1 missions only off carriers.

      "Of course there is. We simply build a new production line." Your living in an imaginary world. The C-2 was built like planes 50 years ago. A/C arent built that way anymore. You cant just do it like 50 years ago. The USMC is building the CH-53k. Its a modern update of the CH-53E which is an update of prior CH-53s. Inspite of that the SDD phase contract was 3 billion dollars and included 5 test platforms. There is no "simply build a new production line." Setting up to build a new C-2 could easily start at $50 million per plane before the first copy was even built and probably $80 million + more per copy for production. Wake up. This is what the current DOD procurement system amounts to, whether the Navy or you or me like it or not.

      "The V-22 mishap rate is generally conceded to be vastly under-reported."
      Bla blah blah. Thats pure speculation. Mostly by those doing hit pieces. (like David Axe) Balanced analysis indicates its no more underreported than other a/c. The incentive on all systems is to underreport mishaps. Mishaps don't help your career.

      "Do I really need to go the litany of all the things the Navy believes that have been proven wrong?"
      No you believe almost everything the Navy does is wrong and its all the Navy's fault. So there's no convincing you they could be doing something right. After all we know the Navy has lost every battle its ever fought.

      "Wow! That's some bias, there!"
      Laugh all you want. The reason V-22 will carry a F-35 power module and a C-2 wont is V-22 doesn't require a shock hardened packing system in order protect the module from damage during a trap. There are extensive physical requirements to fly into a trap on carrier for people and cargo. And in an emergency nobody sits on the floor or they might end up pasted on one end of the cabin or the other. In an emergency, say during a casualty evac, the V-22 is much less problematic.

      "We're talking simple total cost." Of course: 44 ac * 130000000 = 6.6 billion.(new C-2) 44 ac x 90000000 = 3.96 billion (CMV-22). It'll take a lot of effort and luck to close that potential difference.

      "it's clear that the Navy made the decision for reasons other than pure mission effectiveness."
      The last 3 paragraphs are your opinion. It is not clear politics was the reason. The facts objectively analyzed indicate the decision was made for the following reasons:

      1. cost
      2. system efficiency
      3. reduced risk
      4. schedule
      5. flexibility
      6. sustainability
      7. commonality
      8. maybe what you call politics, easy to do when the 7 prior reasons make sense.

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    8. Oh I forgot to add that the cost of C-2 vs V-22 must include the cost of the additional MH-60s and MSC contracted helos required to do lifts that can be done by CMV-22 but not C-2. So throw another 60 million in there. Total purchase price difference between a V-22 based COD replacement system vs a new C-2 based system could be $120000000 per unit in favor of V-22.

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    9. Well, if nothing else, I'm getting a kick out this!

      So the aircraft price starts at $50M just to cover the production line cost. If you're going to fling made up numbers around why not call it $100 trillion for each aircraft? It would be just as valid. Good grief, we're not talking about building a sophisticated AWACS or JSTARS. It's just a cargo plane.

      Who has a better record for accuracy and truth - the military or outside observers? That one's pretty cut and dried. You can ignore the evidence if you wish but it undermines your overall credibility.

      The Navy's record regarding the accuracy of its performance claims is vanishingly poor. Yes, I do believe the Navy has failed with astonishing regularity and the evidence proves it. Again, you can deny it but that's just wishful thinking.

      A new build C-2 will cost $130M??!! Wow! That's as much as an F-35. Do you really think that price is credible?

      Yes, my last thoughts are just speculation and I so indicated. Those are the kind of things I'd love to discuss with anyone who has an open mind because those are potentially interesting and important points that I would hope the Navy has carefully considered. However, the Navy's record on such careful considerations is spotty, to say the least (failing to note that the Seahawk family of helos couldn't safely tow the LCS MCM equipment, for example).

      Your mind is clearly made up and you have no desire to consider any points that don't support your position so there's no point to further discussion. I offer you the last word and I'll move on. Enjoy the blog.

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    10. "If you're going to fling made up numbers around why not call it $100 trillion for each aircraft? It would be just as valid. "

      We have a current model for development costs of updating a cargo aircraft for the Dept of the Navy from an existing aircraft in use: CH-53k from CH-53e.

      Per DID:
      "April 5/06: SDD contract. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in Stratford, CT receives a $3.04 billion modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-06-C-0081) for the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) of the CH-53K aircraft, to include 4 SDD aircraft, 1 ground test vehicle, and associated program management and test support."

      The Navy would have to do a similar SDD phase for a new C-2. $3.04 billion divided by 44 ac = $69 million/ac. We can assume it would cost somewhat less for fixed wing a/c vs a rotary wing ac. $50 million is not out of the question. Note the Ch-53 contract was 10 years ago, costs have only gone up since.

      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/ch53k-the-us-marines-hlr-helicopter-program-updated-01724/

      We have a model for the current low volume production cost of an airframe similar to C-2 in the current E-2:

      "Price/Unit Cost: The unit cost of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is $173.60 million (flyaway cost in FY 2015) of which the airframe and two Rolls-Royce T56 engines make up a total of $89.47 million. The cost of the avionics package amounts to $63.92 million with other costs making up the remaining $20.21 million."

      http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/E-2-Advanced-Hawkeye.html

      Again with emphasis: "the airframe and two Rolls-Royce T56 engines make up a total of $89.47 million." Thats flyaway cost. It includes no development. So the risk based on current experience is that a new limited production run of 44 C-2s will cost near 3 billion to get to production including 5 test aircraft (same # Ch-53k and E-2d required) and then around 89 million each to build. For a total of possibly up to $158 million each. There is no way it cost anywhere near what a slightly modified V-22 will cost. If you think so you are living in a fantasy. The DODs procurement system will not allow the shortcuts you dream of. The Navy can't change the system by itself. By buying within an existing program they avoid all the problems and costs of starting a POR from scratch.

      Low production military A/C which gain no leverage from civilian systems, are built only for the military and have little promise of extended sales or other use are extremely expensive. Eye wateringly expensive, no matter how mundane their role is.

      Note this is nothing new. The Navy has intended to buy 40 some v-22 for decades. Its had years to consider the implications of V-22 vs C-2. It and I didn't just start thinking about this because you turned your attention to it for a blog post.

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  3. Few people realize that tiltrotor performance sucks. The specs touted by Bell-Boeing are old goals; actual performance is half that. For example, max payload is 8000lbs, about one third that of the similar size (in empty weight) CH-53E. Here is a good overview from another site.


    "Tiltrotors are a failed concept because they are only half as efficient as a helicopter and also half as efficient as an airplane. They do not have the payload or range of a similar-sized helicopter or an airplane. The ability to take off and land vertically, however, and to carry at least some small payload faster than a helicopter, is their niche role. One reason tiltrotors failed is because their "proprotors" are an engineering design compromise between a helicopter's large diameter relatively untwisted flat blades, and a propeller's smaller and much more twisted blades.

    Large diameter blades provide better efficiency, which is why they are used by helicopters. But much smaller diameter blades are required to pull an airplane efficiently through the air. As the V-22 builds up speed, its massive proprotors create more drag and become less efficient, and eventually fuel efficiency and range suffers. The size of the V-22's wing is also a compromise, in that because of its short span and high wing thickness it creates much more drag than for an airplane.

    Compare the V-22 (right) with the new C-27J Spartan military transport (below), not be confused with the much older C-27A once used by the USAF. This aircraft uses the same two engines as the V-22 and is roughly the same size, measured in empty weight. Yet the Spartan can carry twice the payload of the V-22 three times farther."

    This is why no one else is building tiltrotors. There is also that safety/instability problem in a hover, and twice the complexity so twice the cost with half the readiness rate. It is 40% faster, but as expert Nick Lappos once wrote, if speed was all that mattered we'd all drive a Ferrari.

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    1. It was not designed to replace the CH53, but the CH-46 Sea Knight. Naturally any helicopter cant compete with a fixed wing plane of similar size, but the versatility means its worthwhile.

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  4. " It ought to take about ten thousand dollars of design work to add a radio. A public address system? Seriously? That should cost about a thousand dollars of design effort. That leaves almost the entire $151M for extended range modifications."

    Yes and no.
    Adding a radio is easy.
    Adding a radio and it being safe is marginally harder but still easy.
    Adding a radio AND it being legal is much much much harder.

    Its not doing it thats difficult, its getting NTSB and equivalent approval to be able to fly it in civillian airspace.

    The cost doesnt seem that odd, the choice of craft is very strange.

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  5. I think, and I don’t have any special knowledge here. But I think that the issue is the cargo.

    The ranges listed will be for no cargo, or just troops.

    The V22COD is now going to have to try to deliver a much heavier load, probably filling the cargo area. In a continuous over sea flight in all kinds of weather conditions (perhaps a strong headwind for the last 500nm), and be able to either abort or pull a vertical landing in bad conditions once it gets there. All with a worthwhile cargo.

    It’s not what the V22 was really made for. And as one of your other readers commented it isn’t really that efficient in a lot of ways.

    I would imagine A LOT of plumbing to move the current tanks out and about and nicely balanced whilst allowing cargo fixing points that balance for a V22. Plus all the usual redundancy etc.

    Still seems steep though doesn’t it?

    HOWEVER, VTOL in practice tends to allow carrier operation at up to 2 sea states above normal CATOBAR, and V22COD will allow COD to a higher variety of platforms than just CNV, and from\to a high variety of “auster” bases, ( i.e not necessarily full length run ways. )

    I have no doubt the GATORS are in on this, and probably sea lift command. It probably came from the sea basing concept I would imagine?

    UK has been sniffing around V22, although they have been extremely reticent to publicly admit it. V22 cod would be a nice feature.

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    2. This may sound like a little thing, but I think its one of the biggest mistakes that the Navy is making.

      From everything I've read, when you take into account range and useful payload the V22 stinks when it compares to the C2; especially a newish C2 they could roll off of the E2 line.

      Logistics is huge, and I'm willing to bet that in practice, we just cut our useful range. Again.

      VTOL may have an advantage in some areas. The V-22 I guess can take an F-135 in a special pallet with nothing else in it.

      But what about the disadvantages? In discussing Helo's on the LCS we talked about how Helo's had significant down time. How much more is that likely to be the case for a tilt rotor? How many more V-22's will we have to have to keep the same ops tempo that new C2's would have? And how much more will it cost to maintain them?

      And why on earth is the Marine Corps Aviation dictating terms that will affect both the AF and the Navy with Lift Fan F-35's and V-22 COD respectively?

      I've heard the corps is shedding a chunk of its armor.

      When all is said and done, what's going to be left of the corps when it buys, operatines, and maintains the F-35B and the V-22's?

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    3. I am really wondering if the US is slowly backing out of Catapult Operations
      It sounds crazy, but it kind of fits the facts, its kind of all that fits the facts.

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    4. The only counter argument I can come up with is the 13 billion one sitting in Newport news.

      That's where this is insanity to me. If we went away from CATOBAR and decided to field 40 America sized F-35B carriers it might not be the right decision, but it would be one that fit with some of the ones we are doing.

      Instead, we are building 13B super carriers with new EMALS designed to (in theory) ramp up sortie rates while continuing with range crippling platforms (V-22) and kind of doing half arsed work at combating those super carriers biggest, cheapest threat: Subs.

      Its like we've decided to blow the most money on the least returns.

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    5. Brilliant plan! Since EMALS don't work the Navy will say the F-35B is so great it doesn't need it! Then use the CMV-22 for tanking and COD.

      Watch for the F-135 engine spin. They write the V-22 can deliver a F-135 power module, because during trials they disassembled the engine into three sections so it would fit in three V-22s.

      Another V-22 whammy is that mechanics can't work on the engines when folded up. So they must do it on deck or take up the entire hangar deck. And the other issue is that a new C-2 can use E-2 mechanics and parts. A V-22 will require its own parts block and maintainers.

      And don't think it can operate from destroyers or cruisers either. It is too heavy (the size of a CH-53E) and its downwash is too great for vertrep, not to mention the flight decks warp from the heat.

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  6. Whats the payload requirements?

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    1. That's the key question. Very astute. Unfortunately, I have no answer. I have not yet seen any payload spec. Let me know if you see one.

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    2. An F35 engine crated for replenishment at sea is approx. 5 metric tonnes.

      [ As the RFA has just upgraded all its RAS equipment for this. ]

      This sounds like the LIMIT for the V22.

      Wiki list C2 at just over 9 metric tonnes "useful load". So the two are actually a little closer than I thought ?

      Beno

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    3. This does beg another question.
      Why does a 110,000 ton Carrier need so much emergency replenishment?
      You cant carry everything of course, but surely a few spare engines on the carrier and a few spares on the replenishment ship?

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    4. The Navy doesn't advertise this but none of our replenishment ships has the equipment to transfer an F-35 engine to a carrier. That's right, we built a carrier and aircraft that can't be resupplied with the main replacement need - spare engines. The only ship in the Navy that can currently handle an F-35 engine in a ship to ship transfer is the Ford but there are no replenishment ships with the capability to transfer an engine.

      The V-22 COD is supposed to be able to deliver a single engine although I've heard that they're having to perform miracles to make a crated engine fit on the V-22.

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    5. Since I first posted, I still have not found any real requirements except range. Most likely Im not searching in the right places, but have you found anything else about payload specs?

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    6. I have been unable to find any published information about payload requirements.

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    7. If it is a production driven decision, I wouldnt expect to find any until later, once its clear whats possibly, they can find a use as a justification.

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  7. This was done for one reason only; because the USMC wanted to keep the V-22 production lines open. Marine Air is going to kill the Marine Corps ability to actually perform amphibious operations.

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    1. so what is that actual mission of the v-22 for the navy now?. I understand the marine mission but not the navies. how this fits into mission requirements now or mission requirements later

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  8. No one has addressed the key point of V-22 COD: it was supposed to be a cheap and quick adaptation of an existing airframe; anything more extensive and we ought to be looking at what can be done with other aircraft.

    he other point is to go with a clean design for an aircraft that will replace the COD/E-2/S-3 and tanker missions.

    As CNO has pointed out in the past, this should be a straight-forward and relatively quick exercise.

    GAB

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  9. It is kind of strange to request that much money for those items, I'm afraid there's probably more to this than meets the eye.

    If you need to add so much more fuel to reach your range goal, you are looking at the extra weight of the fuel PLUS extra structural weight which means that your payload suffers (reduced capability) OR you need NEW ENGINES.....

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  10. To make the defense industry money.

    The USMC seems to have staked a lot on the V-22. A lot. They desperately want to keep it operational or it would be a public embarrassment.

    It is long overdue to open this up for a study of alternatives.

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  11. Agree AtlandMain, I think a new upgraded C-2 with some of the hardware developed for the new E-2 would have made much more sense but I think the V22 industrial lobby plus USMC won the day!

    I found this info on a MV22 PDF so it doesn't quite apply for the CV22 but it is an interesting read plus there are some range/payload diagrams. Those are the only ones I could find!


    • 325 nm combat radius
    - 24 passengers
    • 600 nm combat radius with 1 aerial refuel
    - 24 passengers
    • Additional fuel options: up to 3 MATS tanks
    - 1 MATS tank, 14 passengers, 3.5 hrs endurance
    - 2 MATS tanks, 6 passengers, 4.2 hrs endurance
    - 3 MATS tanks, 0 passengers, 4.9 hrs endurance

    http://www.boeing.com/ospreynews/2011/issue_02/final_2011_2012_guidebook.pdf

    If I am reading the diagrams correctly and like I said, it's for the MV22, I understand you can get a 10,000lbs payload to about 800 n.m. with a STOL mission. The problem is once you start adding MATS fuel cells to get extra range, your payload deceases significantly.

    So, if you still want the range (+1000 n.m.) plus 10,000 ponds payload, you need some extra fuselage! I really think we are looking at the beginning of some study work into increased engine power with a fuselage stretch.

    What we need is to hear from someone with MV22 experience to see if what was done with CV22 extra range helps and if this COD V22 works with some "small" minor tweeks or are we looking at some more serious mods here.....

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    1. The side sponsons are the most likely location for extra fuel- its a common approach for helicopters.

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    2. NICO, remember that combat ranges are two way. A COD flight is one way. So, if the combat range were 100 miles, a corresponding COD delivery flight could be 200 miles because the aircraft is refueled on arrival at the destination.

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    3. Also, combat radius generally also includes time on station in the calculation. One way range is generally >2x combat radius because of that.

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    4. "Also, combat radius generally also includes time on station in the calculation."

      Good point.

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  12. Pity about the Fairey Rotodyne. Just think what an up-engined version with V22-style power plants might have done...

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  13. COMNAVOPS,
    I do not agree with your position that the $150 million in engineering fees is grossly excessive because the V-22 is in many ways ill-suited for the COD roll and requires numerous modifications to improve its performance as a COD aircraft. However, it is unclear how many of the V-22’s shortcomings the agreement addresses.
    First, the V-22’s fuselage needs to be redesigned because the rear ramp is too small. The size of the ramp limits the dimensions of the cargo that a V-22 can carry and would force the Navy to disassemble every F-35 engine it sends via COD in order to make it fit into the current V-22.
    Second, the V-22 is not designed to operate at high altitude. Flight at higher altitudes would provide greater operability in poor weather and would improve performance. We don’t want to be in a situation where urgent supplies or transport cannot occur because the COD cannot fly through or over the weather. Substantial modifications could be needed to pressurize and heat the cabin or to mitigate the effects of flying unpressurized at high altitudes.
    Third, the ability of the V-22 to land on destroyers and other ships is unknown. It might be simpler to install a system that cools the engine exhaust than to retrofit every ship in the fleet to be able to accept the V-22.
    I think these shortcomings raise serious questions about the Navy’s selection of the V-22 for COD. Although the V-22 eliminates the need to transfer cargo from the C-2 to helos, its shortcomings and high cost could outweigh this benefit.

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    1. "I do not agree with your position that the $150 million in engineering fees is grossly excessive because the V-22 is in many ways ill-suited for the COD ..."

      The Navy has consistently stated that the contract is for 3 specific modifications and $150M is grossly excessive for the 3 stated modifications, as I noted in the post.

      If you think there are other tasks included in the contract then you have to prove it. I can only work with what's stated. None of the additional mods that you suggest have ever been listed as actual mods, to the best of my knowledge. This blog is about facts. Don't disagree with me over unstated, unsubstantiated information. How can I argue against made up facts? If you have actual additional data, prove it and I will change my mind. If not, my conclusion stands.

      The rest of your assessment of the V-22 in the COD role is spot on.

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