First Production CV-22 Osprey Delivered
21 Sep 2005
On September 19th, the U.S. Air Force took delivery of the first production CV-22 Osprey at the Bell Helicopter production facility in Amarillo, Texas. Produced jointly by Bell Helicopter and Boeing, the CV-22 is the US Air Force Special Operations variant of the V-22 and will be used for long-range special operations missions, contingency operations, and evacuations and maritime operations.
In addition to the standard communications and navigations suite found on all V-22s, the CV-22 has an advanced electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar which permits flight at very low altitude in zero visibility, a retractable aerial refueling probe, four radios and flight engineer seat/crew positions in the cockpit.
The current program calls for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command to field 50 CV-22s to join the global war on terrorism and other special operations missions. Prior to initial operational capability in 2009, the CV-22 will complete developmental testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., followed by initial operational test and evaluation. Then the aircraft will conduct an operational utility evaluation next year.