The CMV-22B, the Navy’s variant of the Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, formally achieved initial operational capability (IOC) last December, the service said Feb. 18. 

The Navy’s announcement came with at the end of the CMV-22B’s maiden deployment on Feb. 17. IOC was formally declared on Dec. 14, 2021, which aligned with the scheduled first quarter of the fiscal year requirement, the service said.

The CMV-22 was first deployed with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) aircraft carrier. Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 embarked on CVN-70 along with F-35C and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye squadrons.

This deployment “is an operational success, giving me the confidence necessary to make the declaration,” Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, Director, Air Warfare Division, N98, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, said in a statement. 

“As we continue to deliver the advanced platforms that will make up the Air Wing of the Future, the CMV-22B provides the necessary support and more to carry our future force,” he added.

The Navy’s Osprey variant is particularly modified for extended range, which included adding two 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks to allow the aircraft to travel over 1,150 nautical miles. It also has 50 percent more internal fuel than the Marine Corps’ variant and can carry up to 6,000 pounds of cargo. 

The Navy is using the Osprey to transition away from the C-2A Greyhound for the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission. 

The declaration of IOC is a major milestone in having it be the new system used to meet the COD mission. As it proceeds, the CMV-22B will be responsible for conducting high priority cargo and passenger transport services for carrier strike groups and task forces. This includes transporting personnel, mail, supplies, and cargo from shore bases to carriers.

“IOC designation is more than a stamp of approval. It is a vote of confidence from top Navy leadership that the design, testing and production of this aircraft meet the logistical needs of the carrier air wings designated to fly the CMV-22B,” Marine Col. Brian Taylor, V-22 Joint program manager, said in a statement.

The Navy said the first Osprey deployed detachment executed a mission completion rate of 98 percent and a mission capable rate of 75 percent. 

“This aircraft went from first flight to first deployment in 19 months: a feat possible through the dedication of the Navy’s acquisition, engineering, test and operational communities, as well as industry, all working in tandem, toward a common goal,” Taylor added.

The Bell [TXT]-Boeing [BA] consortium that builds the Osprey has delivered 14 CMV-22Bs thus far and has another 44 on contract. Full Operational Capability is expected to be achieved in 2023.