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Boeing and the US Marine Corps are testing a new prototype roll-on/roll-off aerial refueling system for the Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey this week, a senior USMC officer says.
The system which consists of a high-speed aerial refueling drogue, hose and reel mechanism is being tested on a VMX-22 aircraft, says Col Michael Orr, the squadron's commander. However, the USMC is not paying for the tests itself, rather Boeing is paying for the demonstration, he says.
The system is currently a non-functional aerodynamic demonstrator, Orr says. However, the parts are off the shelf and Orr says he does not expect any hiccups.
Orr says that the USMC is very interested in the system for use with the Lockheed Martin F-35B. Currently, because F-35B test assets are scarce, the USMC is using a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet as a substitute, Orr says.