Goodbye to the Greyhound. The supply horse of the modern Navy is being taken out into the woods. And in my opinion, a very dumb decision. One
certainly motivated by big business and not by strategic naval knowhow. Let's hear what you think,
The DoD has decided to "upgrade" to a platform that still cannot accommodate an F-135 engine. “The container for the engine is too large to be
carried in the aircraft,” said Bell CEO John Garrison. This is not true of the trialled C-2.
The rationale here is that it gets around the current "hub and spoke" method of delivering goods to the carrier group support vessels. Something
that ain't really broke in the first place. But there are arguments there.
The V-22 (soon to be Navy dsg. HV-22) doesn't have the range, the speed, the cargo capacity or the altitude to fulfill this mission anywhere
close to what the Greyhound could do. Forgetting its tiny legs, compared to a hound, it's biggest draw back is simply it's altitude. A V-22
is not pressurized, which means it cannot climb above storm systems to deliver crucial supplies to CVBG's in the middle of a fight far off in the
ocean. Even if it had the range to do so anyhow. Currently the Osprey can't fly through any inclimate weather whatsoever.
It has also been said that a V-22s exhaust will damage a carrier deck.
So why is this happening?
Well the Osprey production run is coming to a close soon and with Boeing/Bell seeing that it's foreign sales aren't anywhere near what they wanted
they are looking towards every nook and cranny to sell as many birds as they can. This smells, stinks and tastes to high hell like awful DoD
Many. Not that they were given the chance, but Lockheed has proposed reintroducing the S-3 Viking (to a C-3 variant) as a jet COD option. A few models
were even modified for such purpose. Not to mention the massive amounts of refueling it would provide.
Also why not turn the dial back a bit further and revisit some of the great ideas of converting small airliners for carrier ops. Plenty of large
aircraft have landed on CVs including C-130s and even U-2s.
Why not an F-28
Or what about a DC-3?
Hell even a 737!
ALL would be better options in my opinion than the Osprey. It just baffles me how they think this is going to work when the damn thing can't even fly
over weather or carry a single engine internally. In a theater such as the Pacific this seems like logistical suicide.
Well it's an aging platform, the Greyhound. Old systems and lack of modern avionics. Yet the Navy awarded Grumman with a $795m contract to upgrade
all of it's Hawkeyes (essentially the same aircraft) with ultra modern amenities. There is no reason why this couldn't be done with the C-2 at much
less cost. Most of that money is going towards the new radar systems. An Osprey at $70m a piece is NO bargain.
More so than an S-3? I could also see the C-37 being a great candidate. Already in use with the USAF and USCG, parts available and proven itself over
salty maritime conditions. A Gulfstream V is essentially the same weight as an F-14, bulk up it's hind legs and strap on a tail hook!
The S-3 was purpose built to do it. Any kind of commercial aircraft would have to have new landing gear installed, a new center wing box, new wings
attached, a beefed up hydraulic system installed at a minimum.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.