The CV-22 Osprey is a modified variant of the USMC MV-22B used by USAF Special Operations Squadrons for insertion / extraction and re supply of special operations forces such as Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs.
The Osprey features a unique tilt-rotor design which enables it to take off and land vertically like a helicopter but also fly at speeds comparable to fixed-wing aircraft. This capability is ideal for supporting special operations when the need to infil and exfil at high speed is paramount.
The main difference between the USAF CV-22 and its Marines Corps cousin, the MV-22B, is the more sophisticated avionics found on the CV-22. With its special operations role, the CV-22 carries a number of navigation, threat detection and countermeasures gear to enable it to infiltrate and survive in enemy airspace.
The CV-22 can carry up to 24 special operations personnel or up to 10,000lbs of cargo.
CV-22 Osprey Specifications
A pair of US Navy SEALs are hoisted up to a CV-22. The Osprey's hoist can lift up to 600lbs.
A USAF CV-22 Osprey flies with a MH-53 Pavelow helicopter. The Osprey has replaced the MH-53 Pavelow within Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and its Special Operations Squadrons. Unlike the MH-53, or the USMC MV-22B, the USAF CV-22 is not currently armed. There are plans, however, to fit the aircraft with some sort of gun pod or turret in the near future.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter
CV-22 OSPREY resources :
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photo gallery : CV-22 / MV-22 Ospreys