Home News New weapons testing underway on MV-22 Ospreys

New weapons testing underway on MV-22 Ospreys

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(MAY 15, 2016) An MV-22B Osprey helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced), sits on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD-4). Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brett Anderson/Released)
(MAY 15, 2016) An MV-22B Osprey helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced), sits on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD-4). Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brett Anderson/Released)

The Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation announced at the  Sea-Air-Space conference near D.C., that the service is working to make Osprey faster and more lethal.

Testing is currently underway, using a mix of weapons and sensors, to ultimately give the Osprey the kind of enhanced weapons system that can be found on other aircraft, like the UH-1Y Cobras.

Among the weapons being looked at, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis said, are the Hellfire missile, the laser-guided GBU-44/B Viper Strike bomb and the lightweight AGM-176 Griffin.

Davis says the Marine Corps has tested a “laser-guided designator in the Osprey’s nose and different munitions that can be loaded onto the aircraft,” Defense News reported.

Marine forces that respond to emergencies in Africa and the Middle East would use the armed V-22’s– according to the Marine Corps 2015 aviation plan.

When evacuation assistance is needed,  like it was at the embassies in Iraq, South Sudan and Libya,  the Osprey –which can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a plane–is the aircraft that is called in.

Once these enhancements are made, Davis says, there will possibly be that added burden of air crews having to “adapt quickly” to running a weapons system, while flying an aircraft.

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