AFSOC V-22 Set for Major Tests Next Month


The program director for the Air Force spec ops version of the V-22 said Tuesday the tiltrotor aircraft should begin initial operational test and evaluation flights by late October or early November.

Col. Tarik Abboushi said at a breakfast meeting with reporters hes drawing upon prior testing by the Marine Corps to get their MV-22 operational to help inform his test regime, but added hes concentrating on working through the integration of key subsystems, including terrain-following radar, defensive countermeasures and navigation systems.

Abboushi also said AFSOC has issued a requirement for an all-quadrant gun. Currently the CV-22 uses a ramp-mounted weapon system for defensive fire. Abboushi said it was unclear whether the all-quadrant gun would require design changes, but he said he’s pretty sure major changes will probably not be needed.

The CV-22 is expected to breeze through IOT&E for a go-ahead by Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center to enter into initial operational capability with AFSOC in early 2009, Abboushi said.


  • 22lr

    CSAR is written all over this baby. Fast, can land on a dime (so to speak), hopefully it is reliable (the years will tell). What more could you want.

  • Foreign.Boy

    Maybe some sort of nose mounted gun with 360 degrees of fire?!
    There isn’t many logical places for a gun on this thing.. at least without interfering with the props.

  • 22lr

    A chain gun would accually be a sweet idea (im thinking mini gun on there, o ya baby). You could probely mount a few 240s or M2 towards the back and just put somthing on there so the gunners wont get carryed away and shoot the props. Also Im wondering if you could have rockets wounted under the beast. O ya

  • txzen

    I like the nose mounted idea that is what I thought of when I read that, it just has to be shorter than the landing gear and if an apache can do that a much larger osprey can do it. Being able to shoot 360 would be different from the apache and then when on the ground there would be blind spots at the gear and ramp. All that being said I sorta think the weapon system would be more like the chinnook or the stallion/sea knight with the 50 cal sticking through the side and the mini gun on the ramp. Hopefully something better than that will get worked out.

  • C. Foskey

    Quoting 22lr
    “CSAR is written all over this baby. Fast, can land on a dime (so to speak), hopefully it is reliable (the years will tell). What more could you want.”
    Perhaps something without the massive hot downwash.

  • 22lr

    Ya, slite dificulty. But it would be a huge trade off, from speed to downwash. Not having speed gets ya killed, and heavy downwash is nobodys friend. But i guess we shall see what the program comes to.

  • Coolhand77

    two 180 degree mounts. One above the ramp, one below the nose ought to do it. Both mounting GAU-19/A gatlings. For additional firepower, mount a pair of same as “door guns” on the sides. nuff said.

  • Sine Nomine

    CROWS type system mounted on the “sling” hook with
    limits to aiming to preserve props.

  • Coolhand77

    Hmm, speaking of the GAU-19…lookie what I just found in PDF format…
    maybe I’m not so stupid after all…

  • C-Low

    I think a Nose turret and the rear door mini would pretty much cover 360 coverage.
    I see how it would have potential as a CSAR in certain instances by that I mean I don’t know how conformable I would be with riding a V-22 into a hot LZ (Lot of moving parts lots to go wrong). However allot of CSAR are well at Conventional type air craft ranges. Those missions are either waived or would require tankers aka big fat targets. That niche would be the V-22 cause she’s got the legs.
    All systems especially weapon systems have strong points and weak points. The trick is getting that balance were you are playing using your systems to their strong points and not allowing the weak points to be exposed. V-22 has HUGE potential in the tool box but swiss army knife it is not nor is any of its competitors either thou.

  • C. Foskey

    A large rotorcraft employing our X2 tech designs would be ideal for CSAR. X2 technology from Sikorsky will allow rotary aircraft to attain speeds of 250+ knots. Work is being done on the demonstrator right now and should have the initial flight tests soon.,9604,2210,00.pdf

  • DJ

    CSAR in a V-22, nice thought but not practical. A modified version of the civilian version would be better and easier to modifiy for that purpose.

  • Mike

    Nice find cool hand. Now what we have is a Hind, well that can fly like a plane. I think that would work well as some V-22’s could keep pace with the troop transports, then scan the area with FLIRS taking out anything on the ground.

  • Brian H

    IIRC, the Germans in WWII were the first to develop guns that could shoot through a prop synched so the bullets missed the blades. With microsecond compute cycles it should be a snap for a tiny embedded fire-control chip.

  • swissfreek

    That was WWI, but there you’re talking about a fixed mount, mechanical system. Here you’re talking about shooting through props that aren’t always at the same angle (although unlike in WWI, they ARE always at relatively the same speed), and a gun that might move at a moment’s notice, either from the crewman changing his aimpoint or just from getting jostled around on the aircraft. Not saying it’s not possible, but calling it “a snap” might be a stretch…

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