The tiltrotor aircraft intended to be the next carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft for U.S. Navy personnel has made its first flight.
A CMV-22B Osprey, built by Boeing and Bell Textron Inc., conducted its first flight operation at Bell's Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas, the company announced Tuesday.
The first new CMV-22B, specifically upgraded with extended range to ferry personnel and supplies between aircraft carriers and shoreline installations, is scheduled to be transferred to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 later this year, officials said.
"With the ability to travel up to 1,150 nautical miles, the CMV-22B will be a lifeline for our servicemen and women out at sea," said Kristin Houston, vice president of Boeing Tiltrotor Programs and director for the Bell Boeing V-22 Program.
"The quality and safety built into this aircraft will revolutionize the way the U.S. Navy fulfills its critical carrier onboard delivery mission," Houston said in a news release.
The CMV-22B will replace the aging C-2A Greyhound, used for carrier strike group operations since the 1960s. The latest model joins its Air Force CV-22 and Marine Corps MV-22 cousins, used for special operations missions since the late 2000s.
The Defense Department announced in 2018 that the Navy and Marine Corps had signed a $4.2 billion deal with the joint venture company to develop 39 tiltrotor craft for the Navy and 14 MV-22Bs for the Marines.