Tag Archives: Grumman

HV-22 will replace US Navy Greyhound CODs

The US Navy will replace the aging Grumman C-2A(R) Greyhound with the tilt-rotor HV-22 Osprey as carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft, US sources confirmed on Friday 27 March 2015.

Manufacturers Bell and Boeing, who have developped the Osprey together, are set to provide the Navy with 44 HV-22s for a price of 86.8 million a piece. The first Ospreys are planned to enter service in 2020, with the final to be in production in 2024.

Unlike the MV-22 assault tilt-rotor in use with the US Marine Corps, the USN HV-22 will have an external fuel tank, adapted SATCOMs, a modified shipboard landing system and other stuff not incorporated on the Marine Ospreys. The HV-22s are likely not to be armed.

Grumman produced 17 C-2As and 39 improved C-2A(R) for the US Navy’s need to air supply its fleet of aircraft carriers from land-based locations. The core of these Greyhounds is similar to the E-2 Hawkeye the US Navy uses as Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft (“radar plane”). The first Grumman C-2 rolled out of the factory in 1965. Since 1987 only the improved C-2A(R)s stayed in service, with the remaining 36 aircraft going through a Service Life Extension Program to keep them flying until 2027 if necessary.

Signalling the launch of a C-2A(R) Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Squadron (VRC) 30 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the ship conducted flight operations in the Persian Gulf for Operation Inherent Resolve on 4 December 2014.  (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner Jr. / US Navy)
Signalling the launch of a C-2A(R) Greyhound from Fleet Logistics Squadron (VRC) 30 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the ship conducted flight operations in the Persian Gulf for Operation Inherent Resolve on 4 December 2014. (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner Jr. / US Navy)

The Greyhound delivers up to 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of cargo to the US Navy’s aircraft carriers, and regularly flies in passengers or a combination of personnel and cargo. The cabin can be adapted to make the plane serve as a medevac asset. It can even been used to airdrop supplies or serve as a paratrooper platform.

Compared to the Greyhound, the basic V-22 can deliver more goods: 14,990 pounds (6,800 kg). But the V-22 has a shorter range than the C-2: 1,010 miles (1,627 km) on the Osprey to 1,490 miles (2,400 km) on the Greyhound. The planned addition of an external fuel tank will give the HV-22 additional range, but will likely decrease the amount of cargo the plane can carry. The new US Navy COD will also be slower than the C-2 with an cruise speed of 241 knots (277 mph or 446 kmh) at sea level for the Osprey to 251 knots (289 mph or 465 kmh) at 28,700 feet for the Greyhound. The only real advantage of the Osprey is that it lands and take offs vertically.

With Boeing producing the air frame, Bell Helicopter final assembles the V-22s at its Amarillo plant in Texas where Ospreys for the US Marine Corps and US Air Force are rolling down the line at a rate of 25 aircraft this year.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): A US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey from Marine Medium-lift Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 takes off from the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. Gallagher ( US Navy)

Field tests of with a V-22 Osprey and the new all-terrain Phantom Badger on request by USSOCOM (Image © Boeing)
Field tests of with a V-22 Osprey and the new all-terrain Phantom Badger on request by USSOCOM (Image © Boeing)

First cruise of Delta Hawkeye

The new Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Early Warning and Control aircraft of the US Navy will embark on its first ever operational cruise on 9 March 2015. The “Tigertails” – the nickname of VAW-125 – will be trying to keep the aircraft carrier group formed around the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) out of harm’s way, when the task force leaves Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

The E-2D has a new radar, new radios, a new mission computer, integrated satcom, a flight managment system and better engines. It has new avionics in a so-called “glass cockpit” (all digital stuff) and is able to refuel in mid-air. Although its first flight was in August 2007, it has taken a while for the first USN unit to become operational on the type.

One of the new features is that the E-2D is now able to for example help direct anti-air missiles to intercept incoming cruise missiles, as was shown in a test in 2009. Navy sources say that the Hawkeye crews should even be able to help target medium-range air-to-air missiles to their targets, once launched by other navy fighter jets. The new APY-9 radar should make it able for the Hawkeye to detect new stealthy fighters, like the Russian-made Sukhoi PAK-FA.

The Northrop Grumman E-2D is a further development of the Grumman E-2 already in service since 1964. The US Navy has ordered 50 aircraft so far, with 15 aircraft delivered. VAW-125 is the first operational squadron, flying five E-2Ds. Each USN AEW&C squadron will operate four or five Advanced Hawkeyes in the near future.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An E-2D Hawkeye assigned to the Tigertails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 flies over Naval Station Norfolk on 20 March 2014. The unit is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 that will board aircraft carrier CVN71 USS Theodore Roosevelt (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott / US Navy)

Brazilian Navy Grumman C-1 Traders will be KC-2 air tankers

The Brazilian Naval Aviation (Aviação Naval Brasileira) is upgrading its four Grumman C-1A Trader aircraft to KC-2 standard. Earlier Marsh Aviation was reported to be the sole upgrader, but Israeli based Elbit Systems is involved, according to a Elbit press release of 23 December.

The work will be done by the US subsidiary Elbit Systems of America and is a major subcontract valued at US$ 106 million, to be performed over a five-year period. The upgrade work will be done in San Antonio, Texas, at the facilities of M7 Aerospace under the supervision of Brazilian Navy officers who are currently deployed to San Antonio.

When upgraded, the Grumman C-1A aircraft will be designated as KC-2 COD/AAR (Carrier-On-Board / Air-to-Air Refueling) aircraft for the ultimate use on the Brazilian Navy’s aircraft carrier, the NAe São Paulo.

The Grumman C-1A upgrade will include aircraft return to service, engine replacement, installation and integration of new avionics (Glass Cockpit), new communication systems and ECS systems, and tanker capabilities.

Skyhawks vs Navy Gripen
The Brazilian Navy has a dozen carrier-capable Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, due to be retired in 2025. One of the possible successors is a navalized version of the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen. SAAB in Linköping, Sweden, says that version doesn’t need much adaption to the original Gripen-C/D or -E and can be available rather quick once a buyer is found.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by Elbit Systems

PR image released of the Grumman C-1A in action (Image © Aviação Naval Brasileira)
PR image released of the Grumman C-1A in action (Image © Aviação Naval Brasileira)

WITH VIDEO: US Navy tries to keep Growler going

A pair of US Navy EA-18G Growlers over the American dessert (Image © Boeing)
A pair of US Navy EA-18G Growlers over the American dessert (Image © Boeing)

The United States Navy is seeking possibilities to acquire 22 additional Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and thus keeping the Super Hornet production line open for additional years.

According to international press agency Reuters on 7 March 2014 the US Navy aims to put 22 of the jets on the list of “unfunded” priorities requested by Congress. According to the Reuters source the US Navy hopes to let the 11 Growler squadrons grow from five to seven operational aircraft, at an estimated costs of US$2.14 billion. At the moment there is no money for that plan, nor is it budgeted in financial proposals.

By adding additional electronic warfare aircraft to the existing squadron the Navy tucks itself in for possible attrition losses or future demands. With the current Super Hornet / Growler production line under threat of closing down, it might be a way to either keep the line open and/or to build up margins – in other words: to prevent a lack of assets in the future.

The first operational EA-18G Growler, a derivative of the F/A-18E/F SuperHornet, was delivered to the the US Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington state on 4 June 2008. At that time five EA-18Gs were already flying as test aircraft within the Navy. The Growlers are the successor of the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. The EA-18G combat debut was in 2011, enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone over Libya dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The Royal Australian Air Force is working up to introduce the 12 Growlers it ordered into service the coming years.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger