Bell-Boeing To Flight Test V-22 Air Refueling Kit This Month

This month, the Bell-Boeing will perform test flights on the roll-on/roll-off air refueling kit for the V-22 Osprey. I see this as an exciting development, and one I hope is pushed into service. The addition of a tanker role to the Osprey would present a significant boost to aviation capability aboard amphibious assault ships. This organic tanker capability would greatly increase the striking power of ship based F-35B’s.

The roll-on/roll-off concept is not limited to just a tanker role. Boeing has stated these kits will also be applicable to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles, and could include an airborne surveillance radar capability. This would afford capabilities found on full sized carriers to a large number of amphib’s.

One possible radar for the AEWC suite already exists, in the Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman Vigilance system. Vigilance is built around the AN/APG 81, which is a very capable AESA suite. Where have you heard of the AN/APG 81 before? Think F-35. Vigilance is also slated to be used aboard the UK’s new carriers once in service. This would provide a capable radar, and commonality, which eases logistics issues.

 

If the roll-on/roll-off concept gains traction, I can see these increasing overseas interest in the Osprey.

 

 

 

 

 

~ by arcturus415 on August 15, 2013.

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