The US Navy has announced that its long-range Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey varient has been granted the official designation to serve as a carrier on-board delivery (COD) aircraft, CMV-22B.
US Naval Air Systems Command said in a statement: "The main mission of the COD platform is to provide the joint force maritime component commander with time-critical, long-range aerial logistics support by transporting personnel, mail and priority cargo from advance bases to the sea base."
In January 2015, the navy and marine signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to buy V-22 Ospreys for the COD mission.
Around 44 CMV-22Bs are planned to be ordered, with expected deliveries to take place in 2020.
The aircraft is set to replace the Northrop Grumman-built C-2 Greyhound for the mission.
When compared to its predecessor, MV-22B, the new variant features an extended-range fuel system, a high-frequency radio and a public address system.
The navy intends to enhance the fuel storage capacity of the new variant from 860nm to 1,150nm.
The MV-22, will be assigned to ferry the Pratt & Whitney F135 power plant from ship to shore, following the initiation of operation of Lockheed Martin F-35C.
European countries including the UK, France, Italy and Spain, and India have expressed their interest in procuring the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
Image: An MV-22 variant aircraft landing aboard USS Nassau in 2008. Photo: courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Lt. J.g. Michael Sheehan.