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CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 4:30:55 PM   
Gunner98

 

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The USN is replacing its fleet of C-2A(R) Greyhounds with the Tilt-rotor CMV-22B. I've never really looked at this before but I do like the Greyhound and it seems that they are being replaced with something that is very expensive and will carry less over shorter distances and slower?

Help me out here - why would the USN go for a replacement that is so expensive but has less capability?

C-2A(R)carries 26 PAX or 10000lbs; CMV-22B carries 23 PAX or 6000lbs. (40% less cargo!)
C-2A(R) has a range of 1,300nmi while the CMV-22B can go 1,150nmi
cruise speeds are 251knts vs 230knts.

I appreciate that there will be savings on fleet maintenance with the USMCs MV-22s, but a $4.2 Billion purchase for 39 in my math = about $100 million+ each! Ouch - that's in the F-35 range...

I suppose they are able to land on the small deck Gator carriers as well but they are already loaded with MV-22s.

I donno...

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 5:33:59 PM   
DWReese

 

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Bart,

On that same topic, I can't figure out why they abandoned the S-3 ASW carrier-borne aircraft in favor of helos. The S-3 could stay airborne much longer, and could fly to the scene much faster.

I'm sure that some of our real military personnel can shed some light on the topic, but it does seem very odd. I really liked the S-3.

Doug

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Post #: 2
RE: CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 9:40:20 PM   
hellfish6


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I don't want to defend the Navy's decision, but I'll suggest that you guys are being unrealistically pragmatic.

39 CMV-22Bs for $4.2b (and remember, that's usually inclusive of long-term maintenance, parts, training, simulators, etc.) is still probably cheaper than 39 C-X replacement aircraft which would effectively have to be built from scratch (or nearly from scratch if you're gonna embiggen the E-2D into something more cargo-ey). And if you've been paying attention to defense procurement for the past 30 years or so, you'll recall how often these projects fail after billions have been spent on them. And those are often projects that are sexier than a COD.

I think they Navy went with the only realistic option they had with a good chance for program acceptance and completion. Adapt what the fleet is already familiar with and do the best with what you have rather than waiting 10 years and $5b for the more perfect solution. Also, the C-2s are really, really old. Like 1984 was the last major fleet-wide overhaul. There's only so far they can stretch them.

And now, sure enough, the first CMV-22B has taken flight. We might still be waiting another 5 years if there was a perfect C-X on the way, which is another 5 years of risking budget cuts.

< Message edited by hellfish6 -- 1/22/2020 9:42:49 PM >


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RE: CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 10:58:35 PM   
LargeDiameterBomb

 

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I agree with the previous poster. It was probably the cheapest way to do it.

The more interesting question is how can it be that expensive to design and build 39 small and quite ordinary turboprop-powered transport planes except for a slightly strengthened fuselage and landing gear, airfoils optimized for flight characteristics that make them easy to land on a carrier and equipped with a tail hook (also with a possibility to export maybe approx five planes to Brazil & France).

My answer is that it almost certainly has to do with the characteristics of what is commonly known as the Military-Industrial Complex (I am in no way a leftist - I belong firmly to the European conservative tradition - but I find the arguments for such a constellation existing quite persuasive) and what it has become.

The company leadership in every larger defense company seem to lack all loyalty to the US state, combine this with an open door for every officer that advances to general or admiral that leads to the leadership team of some defense company after retirement from the military which must create nepotistic biases and also divided loyalties during military service, most notably if working as program manager.

Also add a flawed bidding process where the lowest bidder is almost always chosen as long as the service's criteria are fulfilled on paper toghether with very few fixed price contracts (It's so blatantly idiotic one must at least consider the possibility that this system was created not for efficiency but for the enrichment of the elite. I have no strong opinion there, though) which incentivizes defense companies making unrealistically low bids early in any programs existence while in the end charging as high a price as possible for their products. Add capability creep from the military's side and sometimes excessive political meddling from people who are less than qualified thinking and talking about military technology matters (Senators, congressmen etc) and it is a bad situation indeed.

Last, the people working in those companies are probably not as intelligent and talented as was the case 80 years ago (even though they certainly are far more intelligent than the average US citizen - but the real original thinking geniuses are probably far less common - today they went into high status, high paying jobs in tech, finance or law). In today's world where "woke" liberalism is the hegemonic ideology of the ruling class working for a defense company must be quite a low status job. I can't imagine that an engineer, however good he is at his job, at for instance L-M receives much recognition from his social circle if it consists of the usual urban extremely socially liberal types that make up most of the educated part of the larger cities' populations.

Compare with China where chief designers of new weapons become widely known figures and lower engineers in the weapons industry are afforded some of the highest social status that engineers can enjoy.

All this makes the procurement process in especially the US, but also many other western countries, a very sub-optimal process that seldom delivers what it could do under other circumstances.
So the simple truth is probably that it would be far more costly than 2 billion USD (Guessing that half the total cost is the initial price for the hardware) to design and build those quite ordinary transport planes and the procurement would also come with a severe risk element due to how the system is set up.

It's a shame the defense industry isn't owned by the state or are at least public companies but with a majority share of the stocks held by the state.

< Message edited by LargeDiameterBomb -- 1/22/2020 11:02:14 PM >

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Post #: 4
RE: CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 11:00:16 PM   
Primarchx


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It's a fair question. Check this out ... https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16535/confessions-of-a-c-2-greyhound-carrier-onboard-delivery-pilot

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Post #: 5
RE: CMV-22B - 1/22/2020 11:25:29 PM   
kevinkins


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This transition has been in defence news for a while. Tilt-rotors for cargo first came up a few of years ago. Tilt-rotors got off to a bad safety start as we all know. But the technology is well loved now. Traditional Greyhounds for AEW are being upgraded. But the transition to Tilt-rotors for cargo makes sense to me. In fact, I remember the US Army is looking at the capability too. Tough call re: taxpayer money and all.

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Post #: 6
RE: CMV-22B - 1/23/2020 7:16:32 PM   
jtoatoktoe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

The USN is replacing its fleet of C-2A(R) Greyhounds with the Tilt-rotor CMV-22B. I've never really looked at this before but I do like the Greyhound and it seems that they are being replaced with something that is very expensive and will carry less over shorter distances and slower?

Help me out here - why would the USN go for a replacement that is so expensive but has less capability?

C-2A(R)carries 26 PAX or 10000lbs; CMV-22B carries 23 PAX or 6000lbs. (40% less cargo!)
C-2A(R) has a range of 1,300nmi while the CMV-22B can go 1,150nmi
cruise speeds are 251knts vs 230knts.

I appreciate that there will be savings on fleet maintenance with the USMCs MV-22s, but a $4.2 Billion purchase for 39 in my math = about $100 million+ each! Ouch - that's in the F-35 range...

I suppose they are able to land on the small deck Gator carriers as well but they are already loaded with MV-22s.

I donno...

CMV-22B has a better range with heavier weight, and the main purpose of it is it can carry a F-35 Engine. The C-2 can't.

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 7
RE: CMV-22B - 1/23/2020 7:40:50 PM   
natehp

 

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I read some point that one of the benefits is that the CV-22 could also help with the distribution of supplies to the rest of the fleet. Instead of a hub and spoke, it could lighten the load on some of the helos that were shuttling stuff everywhere. I'll see if I can dig that up.

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Post #: 8
RE: CMV-22B - 1/23/2020 11:46:23 PM   
14yellow14

 

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CMV-22 has probe for aerial refueling and can do VERTREP and replenishment at long ranges from other ships, no airbase needed (ideal for distributed OPS). It has other cons but it seems to be more versatile.

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Post #: 9
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 12:06:58 AM   
thewood1

 

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It also has a module under development for being a tanker with higher capacity than buddy fueling. It will have some limitations, but will relieve some of the AAR pressure on strike aircraft. There is also a proposal for it to get an ASW module for long-range sub patrols. But real info on that now.

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Post #: 10
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 9:59:03 AM   
14yellow14

 

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The main problem with CMV-22:

quote:

The CMV-22B is also not pressurized, limiting its operating altitude, especially with passengers riding in the back. The Osprey can already carry three fewer individuals in its main cabin compared to the Greyhounds.

More importantly, this means bad weather is more likely to limit the tilt-rotor's ability to conduct its long-range resupply mission. The C-2A with its pressurized cabin can simply fly above many storms and other severe weather patterns. This means crews do not have to fly circuitous routes around them, or risk going through them, in order to get to and from the carriers. The Greyhounds also simply fly faster than the Ospreys, which further extends the overall transit times for the tilt-rotors.

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Post #: 11
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 2:39:36 PM   
Gunner98

 

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From: The Great White North!
Status: online
Some very good points.

Refueling probe, vertrep, tanker & ASW development, specific requirements like moving an F-35 engine. Starting to make sense - but still expensive...

Thanks

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Post #: 12
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 3:04:41 PM   
thewood1

 

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Not as expensive as what though? Refurbishing the C-2 was not even on the table. Developing a brand new aircraft would have easily been more. Are there other airframes around they could have used? I think they really like the flexibility of the vertical capability. It reduces, somewhat, the strain on fleet helicopters.

I think it fits very well with USN overall strategy to reduce the number of disparate platform designs on carriers and in the rest of the fleet. Its one of the reasons we have the F-35 and the F/A-18E/F and the Growler.

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Post #: 13
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 7:08:12 PM   
14yellow14

 

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Another point:

quote:

Since it won't require the use of a catapult for take offs or arresting gear to land, it will be able to perform its mission even if those systems are not operating, either because the rest of the air wing is not conducting active operations or for some other reason. It will also take less personnel to launch and recover the Ospreys in general.

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Post #: 14
RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 10:55:07 PM   
cgn-9

 

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This weeks AOPA Live stream mentions this and one of the presenters related that he flew on a Greyhound to meet someone for a story on carrier and stated it was leaking fuel and hydraulic fluid.


I can't post a link yet, it's about 8:30 into the stream.

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/24/2020 11:12:13 PM   
Tailhook

 

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The C-2s needed to be replaced years ago. Each one is so old at this point with so much custom maintenance that they're literally bespoke. They'll have different measurements. I had instructors in flight school who flew the thing that said that it wasn't uncommon for them to not shut down engines when loading/unloading (either on the CVN or land-side) because they'd be afraid they wouldn't be able to get them restarted.

Already mentioned but I'll summarize CMV-22 benefits:
-Being able to carry the F-35 engine
-VTOL
-Flexible (CVW will have 3x Ospreys onboard the carrier vice 2x C-2s that are land based 95% of the time)
-Future Growth Potential
-Open line, large training pipeline.

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Post #: 16
RE: CMV-22B - 1/25/2020 12:05:51 AM   
Primarchx


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One more Osprey benefit (at least vs the C-2A) - the ability to operate at night. The CMV-22 will lend more flexibility to the carrier wing in the ability to support operations requiring night and vertical lift at long range.

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/25/2020 1:16:08 AM   
thewood1

 

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"Last, the people working in those companies are probably not as intelligent and talented as was the case 80 years ago (even though they certainly are far more intelligent than the average US citizen - but the real original thinking geniuses are probably far less common - today they went into high status, high paying jobs in tech, finance or law). In today's world where "woke" liberalism is the hegemonic ideology of the ruling class working for a defense company must be quite a low status job. I can't imagine that an engineer, however good he is at his job, at for instance L-M receives much recognition from his social circle if it consists of the usual urban extremely socially liberal types that make up most of the educated part of the larger cities' populations"

This is one of the most denigrating and insulting things I have seen a Command thread. It is spoken from extreme ignorance. My son is in his last year at a prestigious engineering school in Boston and the top recruiters are DoD, defense contractors, and quasi-public research institutions. They only interview the very top of their class and most of the kids get offers and take those jobs. Its just not very public. Over 50% of the research at this school is funded directly or indirectly by the DoD. Where do you think the professors and graduates work as their second job? Only Wall Street can compete with total comp for these graduates.

The above quote is made by someone who thinks they know and think they are smarter than everyone else. To have the gall to walk into an open forum and spew that kind of stuff says a lot about self-awareness and character. btw, the engineering schools tend to pump out very conservative cadre and not the "woke" masses you seem to think.

As to cost in the procurement processes, every function that is monitored and controlled like DoD procurement ends up driving costs up. But US DoD procurement is actually much more transparent, efficient, and fair than any other country. Tell me how much a PLAAF J-20, or even a J-10 costs? I bet you can't. The DoD procurement process is terrible and inefficient, but its probably one of the best out there.

As to the effect on cost of $100M for a CMV-22; compare that to $250M to $300M for a standard list on a Boeing 777. At quantities of 50-100, it drops to $125M to $150M. So when you order only 22 CMV-22s, you are going to pay a premium.

For transparency, I don't work for any government agency, supplier, or consulting firm. My son never got an offer from any of the aforementioned organizations. His friends did and they have offers from a couple DoD suppliers that are far more than they would make even at places like Google and Amazon.

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/26/2020 6:04:26 PM   
tjhkkr


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Please correct me if I am wrong, but I though there were stability issues with this bird; it occasionally went crazy when landing...

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/26/2020 7:27:23 PM   
thewood1

 

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The initial design build had something similar to ground effect issues that you see in other rotor wing aircraft. Because its not a actual helicopter and uses heavy computer-assist to maintain stability, ironing out all potential situations took a while. Also, just like with helicopters, getting more experience in piloting resolved many of the issues.

My son's friend from high school just deployed on Ospreys. He initially trained on helos. He said the osprey is the most difficult and, at the same time, the easiest aircraft he has flown. He said that having to have regular prop plane flying skills and helicopter skills is one of the most difficult aspects of pilot training. But he said he would fly them over any helo in the service today.

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/26/2020 11:28:44 PM   
jtoatoktoe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I though there were stability issues with this bird; it occasionally went crazy when landing...

I believe that was a early issue. I think the most common issue now is the engine filters getting gunked up with sand and other crap.

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RE: CMV-22B - 1/28/2020 5:50:08 PM   
clone95

 

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Hi Gunner,

You'll find the trend in the armed forces to be towards multirole capability and greater longevity across the fleet: reflecting the realities of modern defense procurement, maintenance systems, and keeping value in the operated airframes. In the 1960s it wasn't uncommon to have a dozen aircraft types operating in very specific niches (A-1 Skyraiders, A-4 Skyhawks, A-7 Corsairs, A-6 Intruders were all contemporary. There were F-102 Delta Daggers, F-106 Delta Darts, F-104 Starfighters, and F-101 Voodoo in the same period as well). As the military industrial complex has shrunk, program costs have also gone up, and the weight of numbers that made dozens of different aircraft types viable (one company would make one aircraft then go on to the next iteration, and so on and so on).

So when we look at the C-2 Greyhound, and its predecessor the C-1 Trader, the idea was that no other airframe could take off with large cargo and fly it to a supercarrier well away from its base, and having a carrier go into port in the middle of a war was a huge waste of time in a war decided by hours (as you see in your well-researched CMANO scenarios). It makes a lot of sense then in the modern procurement scheme to make this more flexible, not less: and in an era where specialized airframes are going by the dodo (S-3 Viking, EA-6B Prowler, E/F-111, etc.) the more versatile system wins out.

The CMV-22 is an off-the-shelf product. Its production line is in place, the costs are known, and the value is already demonstrated. That is huge in procurement. More importantly, it has capabilities the Greyhound and Helicopters don't. Much further range, roughly equivalent cargo capacity in a larger volume, low stress from airframe hours (if you don't have to whack into a carrier at recovery speeds, you really shouldn't. So bad for the plane.), and most importantly the ability to recover supplies and bring them to the boat from anywhere.

Look at some of the scenarios you've made: in Longest Battle, the CMV-22 can resupply any ship at range, not just the Kennedy. It can drop off missiles, spare parts, personnel and more. In Hold The Line and Changing of the Guard, CMV-22s operating from Enterprise could be actively resupplying her from range, going to-and-from the supply ship at hundreds of NMI range. It could land at Goose Bay, where C-17s and C-5s could be unloading ammo stocks and handling the long-range transit. If battle damaged, those ships can still recover CMVs, and the CMVs can medivac wounded from any vessel in the fleet. Lost pilots can be CSAR'd well away from helo range.

Is it perfect? No. It can't be pressurized, it's big, it's likely a maintenance hog, and VTOL training pipelines are very complex. Yet it can do a job other aircraft cannot, in a way that is very multifunctional. It wouldn't be a bad recovery tanker, either, especially in the nightmare scenario: bad weather, pitching deck, low fuel on the recovering aircraft. Putting down a VTOL on a big carrier deck is easier than landing a fighter.

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Post #: 22
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