US Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC’s) 727th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron/20th Air Maintenance Unit rolled out the final Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey at Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico, on May 22.
Delivery of this latest tiltrotor – serial 0077 (fiscal year unconfirmed) – brings the total number of CV-22Bs handed over to the US Air Force (USAF) to 54, in accordance with the quantity specified in the program of record. This specific aircraft will presumably be operated by Cannon AFB’s resident 27th Special Operations Wing/20th Special Operations Squadron ‘Green Hornets’.
Although this formally completes the delivery process of all the aircraft originally planned for acquisition by the USAF to support special forces missions, it does not tell the whole story, as a further two CV-22Bs have also been sought. This comes as a result of two attrition losses, which means the air force’s current fleet stands at just 52 Ospreys. In order to bring AFSOC back up to full strength, a contract for two attrition replacement aircraft was awarded to the Bell Boeing team on March 18, 2021.
To read more about the acquisition of a further two CV-22Bs for AFSOC, follow the link below.