The US navy has considered to replace V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft in Japan with latest variant, likely from 2021.
CMV-22Bs will replace the two aging C-2 Greyhounds attached to the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which is based at the US Navy’s Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture starting in 2021, or as late as 2026, the official was quoted as saying Monday by The Japan Times.
The navy does not have a specific timeline to replace the C-2 aircraft, but it expects the last one to retire in 2026, the official said.
At present, the two C-2 Greyhounds are based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi outside Tokyo. But the CMV-22Bs are likely to be stationed at the US Marine Corps’ air base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The Japanese and US governments have agreed to transfer the C-2 Greyhounds and other carrier-based aircraft to Iwakuni as part of efforts to reduce noise for residents near the Atsugi base.
In the event the nuclear-powered Ronald Reagan operates in the East and South China seas, the CMV-22Bs are likely to move to the carrier from the Iwakuni base to perform roles of transporting personnel, goods and materials.
The US military has deployed MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the US Marine Corps’ Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. It plans to locate the CV-22, the air force variant of the MV-22, at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo in 2017.
The US military maintains that the Ospreys are safe, but a series of crashes have led concern in Japan about their reliability.