Announced in 2017, the CMV-22B Osprey is replacing the US Navy's first C-2A Greyhound aircraft. This replacement reached a major milestone on 17 February 2022. The CMV-22B received its Initial Operating Capability.
The concept of Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD)
The concept appeared at the beginning of the Second World War, within the US Navy; its ships had to move away from the allied logistic bases without having the possibility of refuelling with men and material. Seaplanes were therefore used to link the flotillas to the various ports. Their great range allowed them to cover a great distance but they could not land on the aircraft carrier, let alone dock with it (because of the wings, which were not at all designed for this purpose), forcing the ships to stop at the risk of being attacked.
At the end of the war, the US Navy decided to modify TBF-Avenger torpedo bombers into cargo aircraft; the TBM-3R became the Navy's first COD. The turret was removed, the ammunition bay became a cargo bay and a door on the right side of the aircraft was added. The aircraft can now carry 500 kg of equipment or 6 passengers in addition to the pilot. The transport of pilots and personnel is indeed a priority because spare parts are (for the time) easily available. The cargo bay was therefore used more for the transport of mail.
The end of the 1950s showed the weakness of the TBM-3R: it had become too old and its cargo hold was too small. Grumman proposed a successor, the C-1 Trader. This new aircraft was much larger than the TBM-3R and was based on the S-2 Tracker submarine hunter, stripped of its sensors and cargo bay. The C-1 can carry 9 passengers or 3.8 tons of cargo. The first aircraft entered active service in 1955.
But the US naval aviation industry was getting bigger and bigger, and the size and complexity of the aircraft no longer resembled the planes used in Korea. The US Navy needed a cargo carrier and the C-1 quickly became too small to carry the various aircraft parts. Grumman returned once again with a new COD, based on the E-2 Hawkeye radar lookout aircraft. However, Grumman did not simply remove the radar detection devices but developed an aircraft entirely designed for its COD role.