launch the C-2As to a shore base, which serves as a
logistics hub. The C-2As fly one or more missions to
the carrier daily, depending on the range, and return to
the hub for the night.
A third proposal came from Lockheed Martin: a
cargo version of its S-3B Viking sea-control aircraft,
with a greatly enlarged fuselage for its payload. A version of the S-3A, the US-3A, with a small passenger
and cargo capacity, had been used in the 1980s and
1990s for the COD role. It had a long range and the
capability to refuel in the air.
Speaking to reporters after a Feb. 25 House Armed
Services seapower subcommittee hearing, Sean J.
Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research,
development and acquisition, and VADM Joseph P.
Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for
Integration of Capabilities & Resources, said the V- 22
was the most affordable option.
Stackley said the Navy had considered a modified E-
2D or a modernized C- 2.
“When we looked not just at the mission of the
COD, but when we opened the aperture and looked at
what the capabilities were that the MV- 22 would bring
beyond the COD, as a force multiplier,” for the bottom-line consideration of affordable capability, “the V- 22
was the answer,” he said.
The next day, testifying before the House Appro-
priations Committee, Mabus said, “We’ve been looking
at the COD replacement for a good while. The further
we got into the analysis of alternatives, the clearer it
became that we had an aircraft — the Osprey, the V- 22
— that was a hot line, that was being made, that we
could do the Navy mission with a change order inside
a multiyear [procurement contract]. So it was a very
affordable aircraft that would not only meet the needs
of the COD, it was a very affordable aircraft [that] can
also be used on other ships that the COD cannot. It is
a more flexible platform. And the further we got in, the
clearer that that option became.”
The Navy in the past also has used CH-53E Super
Stallion heavy-lift helicopters and currently uses simi-
lar MH-53E Sea Dragon mine countermeasures heli-
copters in limited numbers in the vertical onboard
delivery (VOD) role. The use of the V- 22 as a COD
technically makes it a VOD aircraft, because it lands
like a helicopter rather than using arresting gear like
the C- 2. This VOD capability gives the V- 22 the flexi-
bility to deliver cargo and passengers directly to ships
other than aircraft carriers rather than offloading on a
carrier first and forwarding the payload by helicopter.
The Marine Corps has, in effect, been demonstrating the VOD role of the Osprey during deployments of
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / APRIL 2015
An MV-22B Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced) lands on the flight deck of the
amphibious transport dock ship USS New York as another prepares to take off during flight operations in the Arabian
Gulf March 1. Among the reasons the Navy chose the V- 22 as its new carrier onboard delivery aircraft is the Osprey’s
flexibility that allows it to deliver cargo and passengers directly to ships other than aircraft carriers rather than offloading
on a carrier first and forwarding the payload by helicopter.