The US Special Forces will see a wish come true now that Boeing has certified the lightly armoured fast-deployable Phantom Badger road vehicle to be transported internally by a Bell/Boeing CV-22 (or MV-22 if the Marines buy the vehicle) Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
The most interesting part of the tests: they were conducted in March 2014 by Boeing in co-operation with the US Navy. That branch of the US military has so far not bought any of the V-22 Ospreys, but the service has been interested in the tilt-rotor for some time now. The service is considering buying up to 36 Ospreys as HV-22 to replace the aging C-2 Greyhound carrier-qualified transport aircraft.
The Boeing vehicle tests included form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations exceeding four G-forces. The weight and size of the Osprey compartment limits vehicle operations somewhat, which reportedly got the US Special Operations Command somewhat frustrated.
The Phantom Badger is designed as an all-terrain vehicle able to transport five combat troops, an operational 360 degrees rotatable 12.7mm heavy machine gun and two light 5.56 caliber machine guns mounted at the rear. It is an open vehicle aimed to give Special Forces a quick way (max. 130 kmh or 80 mph) to get from the airhead or landing zone to a rendez-vous point or target.
Source: Boeing with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger