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?
(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,