Marine Wing Commander endorses aerial refuelling mission for V-22 Osprey
Bell Helicopter-Boeing Co. proposal to use the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft as a refuelling tanker has the endorsement of one of the Marine Corp’s wing commanders, and at least one of his higher-ups.
Major General Steven Busby, commanding general of the third Marine aircraft wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, said November 20 at the Milcom conference that he would welcome having some of the service’s MV-22 variants serve in that capacity.
“Having a tanker version of the MV-22 coming off an amphibious platform is going to be able to extend the range of the Joint Strike Fighter beyond what we currently have with the F-35B and is going to be able to provide potential refueling capabilities maybe for the CH-53,” he said.
The Bell-Boeing consortium that manufacturers the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey successfully demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to be used as an aerial refuelling tanker last summer, using their own research-and-development dollars.