The CV-22 is a medium-lift, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tiltrotor, primarily used for clandestine long-range, all-weather penetration to insert, recover, and support SOF teams in hostile, denied, and politically sensitive areas.
Derived from the V-22, which flew in prototype form on March 19, 1989, USAF CV-22Bs are equipped with a fully integrated precision TF/TA radar navigation, digital cockpit management system, FLIR, integrated NVG/HUD, digital map system, robust self-defense systems, and secure anti-jam comms.
The CV-22 can conduct shipboard and austere forward operations. It is capable of operating in nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare conditions. CV-22s first deployed to Africa in November 2008 and debuted in combat in Iraq in 2009.
AFSOC is retrofitting the CV-22 to Block 20 standards, in common with USMC MV-22s. Mods include new cabin lighting, color helmet mounted displays, IR searchlight, lightweight ballistic armor, EW upgrades, avionics, self-defensive improvements, weapons integration, and ISR and situational awareness enhancements.
A CV-22 at Eglin completed the first test flight of the Silent Knight TF/TA radar June 23, 2020. AFSOC plans to complete fleetwide retrofit of the stealthier, low-altitude, night/all-weather navigation radar by FY25. Priority development includes improving the Osprey’s rapid, long-distance self-deployment capabilities, and modifying nacelles to improve maintainability, engine IR suppression, and reduce dust/ debris ingestion.
Integration of a ventral-mounted 7.62 mm minigun will eventually give pilots a helmet-cued, 360-degree field of defensive fire to complement the ramp-mounted weapon.
Hurlburt took delivery of the 400th joint service-production aircraft on June 22, 2020. USAF is slated to receive its final airframe under the current multiyear contract in 2022.
Contractors: Boeing; Bell Helicopter Textron.
First Flight: February 2000 (CV-22).
Delivered: Sept. 19, 2005-present.
Production: 51 planned (CV-22; incl three replacements).
Operator: AETC, AFSOC, ANG (associate).
Aircraft Location: Cannon AFB, N.M.; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Kirtland AFB, N.M.; RAF Mildenhall, U.K.; Yokota AB, Japan.
Active Variant: •CV-22B. Air Force special operations variant of the V-22 Osprey.
Dimensions: Span 84.6 ft, length 57.3 ft, height 22.1 ft, rotor diameter 38 ft.
Weight: Max vertical T-O 52,870 lb; max rolling T-O 60,500 lb.
Power Plant: Two Rolls-Royce-Allison AE1107C turboshafts, each 6,200 shp.
Performance: Cruise speed 277 mph, combat radius 575 miles with one internal auxiliary fuel tank, self-deploy 2,100 miles with one in-flight refueling.
Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Armament: One ramp-mounted .50-caliber machine gun. Planned: One belly mounted forward firing GAU-17 7.62 mm minigun.
Accommodation: Two pilots, two flight engineers.
Load: 24 troops seated, 32 troops on floor, or 10,000 lb cargo.