US Navy orders four more CMV-22B Ospreys

The US Navy has awarded the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office a US$309.58m contract modification, exercising an option to procure four more CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotors for carrier onboard delivery (COD) operations.

The awarding of this fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on February 26. Under the terms of the deal, the Bell-Boeing team will manufacture and deliver four more CMV-22Bs to the US Navy, which will be used by Carrier Air Wings (CVW) to conduct COD duties aboard the nation’s aircraft carriers.

CMV-22B [NAVAIR/Erik Hildebrant]
When it is fully operational, the CMV-22B will become a critical asset for the US Navy's CVWs. It will be the only carrier-capable aircraft that is able to transport the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II's Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan engine directly to a carrier flight deck. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)/Erik Hildebrandt

All four aircraft are expected to have been delivered to the US Navy by March 2025. Work under this contract will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas; Ridley Park, Pennsylvania; and Amarillo, Texas; as well as in various other locations across the continental US and abroad.

The US Navy first ordered the CMV-22B in June 2018, as part of a multi-billion acquisition of multiple variants of the Osprey platform. The contract covered the production and delivery of the first 39 CMV-22Bs for the service, which plans to acquire 48 examples in total. In December 2018, the navy awarded the Bell-Boeing team a contract modification for the delivery of an additional three aircraft. With this latest deal, the US Navy has officially ordered 46 aircraft.

The first CMV-22B completed its maiden flight on December 19, 2019 and was delivered to the US Navy in February 2020. In naval service, the CMV-22B will replace the navy’s ageing fleet of Grumman C-2A Greyhound twin-engine, fixed-wing COD aircraft, which entered operational service in the mid-1960s. The platform is scheduled to achieve its initial operational capability (IOC) by the end of this year.