Cobham has been awarded a contract by the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office to develop a palletized aerial refuelling system to give the the US Marine Corps’ MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the ability refuel other aircraft while inflight.
Known as V-22 Aerial Refueling System (VARS), the system will utilize Cobham's existing FR300 Hose Drum Unit with some modifications. The roll-on/roll-off kit will enable the Marines to use their land- and carrier-based MV-22B aircraft to refuel F-35B Lightning II and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, thereby extending their operational range and loiter times, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Design and production of VARS will occur at the Cobham Mission Systems facility in Davenport, Iowa. Deliveries of VARS will commence in 2018, upon completion of rigorous analysis and testing of the system.
Kevin McKeown, Vice President and General Manager of Cobham Mission Systems, said: " This program will enable the Marines to extend the flying range of their fighter aircraft and allow for efficient shipboard operations."