Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental test.
The War Zone previously reported that despite the imminent delivery of the Navy’s first CMV-22B, the service still does not expect to put the first examples into action until 2021, coinciding with the first operational deployment of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter on board the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
“We’re targeting the first quarter of ‘21 for when we’re going to be certified safe to operate where we can start flying our own aircraft and operate as a squadron,” U.S. Navy Commander Trevor Hermann, VRM-30’s commanding officer, told USNI News in an interview in June 2019.
The Navy has long insisted that it needs the CMV-22B to adequately support F-35C deployments onboard its carriers. The service’s contention has been that the C-2A cannot carry the Joint Strike Fighter’s F135 turbofan engine, a critical issue for sustained operations.