The Innovative but Troubled CMV-22B Osprey Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Is Finally Entering US Navy Service

The arrival of the CMV-22B Osprey is a major milestone for the Navy and signals a new era in naval aviation with unprecedented capabilities.
CMV-22B Osprey transfers passengers at CFAS

The Navy has a new game-changer aircraft on its hands with the recent rollout of the CMV-22B Osprey. 

This aircraft is set to revolutionize naval operations as it has been customized for the Navy and features several upgrades that make it ideal for maritime operations.

The new CMV-22B Osprey

MV-22B Osprey Demonstration
MV-22B Demonstration by RamirezRomero. Public Domain

The CMV-22B is a variant of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, which has been used by the Marine Corps and USAF since 2007 – and now, in the US Navy since 2021.


One of the most significant upgrades of the CMV-22B Osprey is the addition of an aerial refueling capability. This allows the CMV-22B to stay in the air for long periods and significantly extend its range.

The aircraft has been designed for long-range cargo missions. This is an essential capability in the Pacific theater in which long-range operations are expected due to the sheer vastness of the Pacific ocean.

It also has enhanced communications and navigational systems, making it easier to operate in challenging maritime environments… And, of course, the CMV-22B Osprey has been designed to be fully compatible with aircraft carriers.


CMV-22B Osprey, MV-22B Osprey Takeoff
MV-22B Takeoff by Nicholas Skyles. Public Domain.

Initially, the Navy plans to purchase 44 Osprey units. However, depending on the performance and needs of the Navy, the number of units could increase.

A redesigned aircraft with the capabilities the Navy was looking for

MV-22B Osprey landing
MV-22B landing by Dustin Kelling. Public Domain.

The Navy CMV-22B is a fixed-wing aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter. This capability is fundamental in aircraft carriers with limited runway length.

The CMV-22B will provide the Navy with a much-needed capability boost, and it can transport people and cargo over long distances.


The CMV-22B Osprey is set to replace the aging fleet of C-2A Greyhound, which has been in service since 1966 and is nearing the end of its operational lifespan.

Unlike the Greyhound, the Osprey can land on different surfaces and carry out more complicated and long-distance operations, which is considerably better considering its ability to be refueled in the air.

As the Osprey lands like a helicopter, it allows Medevac operations to work more efficiently, ensuring that patients don’t have extreme movements during takeoffs and landings.


CMV-22B Osprey specs

MV-22 Osprey Line Drawing
MV-22 Line Drawing by Jetijones. Licensed under CC by 3.0

  • Crew: 3–4
  • Length: 57 feet 4 inches (17.48 meters)
  • Wingspan: 45 feet 10 inches (13.97 meters)
  • Width: 84 feet 6.8 inches (25.776 meters) 
  • Height: 22 feet 1 inch (6.73 meters) 
  • Empty weight: 31,818 pounds (14,432 kilograms)
  • Gross weight: 39,500 pounds (17,917 kilograms)
  • Maximum speed: 322 mph / 518 kph
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 feet (7,600 meters)

The Osprey is a versatile aircraft for the Navy’s future operations

With this new acquisition, the US Navy will have greater capabilities to conduct long-range operations not only in the Pacific theater but anywhere an aircraft carrier is deployed.

And the CMV-22B Osprey is a significant modernization for the Navy cargo fleet as its predecessor, the Greyhound, is being phased out after nearly 60 years of continuous service.

Feature image credit: CMV-22B Osprey transfers passengers at CFAS by Jeremy Graham. Public Domain.


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