The British Royal Navy’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay amphibious ship has operated with the Osprey ‘tiltrotor’ aircraft for the first time during missions off the Scottish coast.
The US Air Force’s (USAF) 7th Special Operations Squadron with their MV-22 Osprey landed on the support vessel off Portland following several months of planning and work.
The ‘tiltrotor’ aircraft took off and landed like a helicopter and then rotated ‘its propellers to fly like a conventional fighter jet’.
Operated by the US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Air Force (USAF), it is the main ‘battlewagon’ for carrying US marines and related units into battle.
RFA Mounts Bay sailors worked with staff from 1700 and 847 Naval Air Squadron to land the Osprey, which was providing ‘air support to Royal Marines from 45 Commando during amphibious exercises’.
RFA Flight Deck Officer (FDO) Mick Burton, who was landing the aircraft on deck, said: “After lots of preparation for today, myself and the team were delighted to work with such a fascinating aircraft and I look forward to working with it lots more in the coming weeks.”
According to Royal Navy, Osprey’s debut on Mounts Bay also included preparation work in Portland earlier last month.
The latest milestone ‘added significance’ as one of the RFA’s Bay-class ships is in line for transformation into a Littoral Strike Ship (LSS).
Last March, the USMC announced that a new MV-22B Osprey squadron achieved full operational capability.