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  • Sometimes You Wonder...
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 2:49 PM on Sep 25, 2009

    There is a story running around about the potential for the V-22 Osprey to replace the C-2A Greyhound as the Navy's carrier onboard delivery (COD) transport.  Based on the E-2C Hawkeye wing, engines, tail and cockpit married to a tubby fuselage (the name Greyhound was someone's idea of a joke) the C-2 has a niche mission of running guests, VIPs and urgently needed supplies on and off the boat.

    Apparently the idea of the V-22 as the C-2's replacement was floated, and a Navy representative said that it was "one of the ideas being considered". Oddly, too, there are 48 Navy V-22s still in the "program of record" even though nobody in the Navy has identified a need for them in decades. But consider a few facts:

    There's no great rush to replace the C-2s. They are just emerging from a rework that should let them fly until 2027, with other upgrades in the works.

    From a support viewpoint, they are common in most respects to the brand-new E-2D Hawkeye, so there will be support for them until hell freezes over or the Navy retires the E-2, and I'm not sure which will come first. The V-22 would be a new (and rather maintenance-hungry) arrival.

    People have compared the V-22's maximum range with that of the C-2 - but the only way that the V-22 can get anywhere near the C-2's range is to fly at high altitude, as the C-2 does. Unfortunately the V-22 is not pressurized, so the passengers and crew are going to have a cold and uncomfortable ride.

    Finally, the "48 Navy V-22s" appear to be a hangover from the program's early four-service days when the Navy was supposed to buy them for CSAR (what, two per battle group?). The last mission I remember for them was an S-3 replacement, using surface combatants as refueling platforms to extend their time-on-station.

    blog post photo

    It made for some spectacular advertising art but got no further than that.

    Tags: ar99, v-22, c-2

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