The Greyhound serves an important role in Carrier On-Board Delivery (COD). COD helps to keep CVWs supplied with the various sundry items to keep it running at sea (along with VERTREP and UNREP, from helos and oilers respectively). Most importantly to those deployed CVWs they deliver the mail (because of this, it’s easily the MOST popular aircraft in the airwing).
In addition to COD, the Greyhound does special forces insertion and VIP transport to and carriers.
The Osprey is controversial because its darn expensive and having the COD Osprey lowers the per unit cost so it would make sense perhaps to buy for that role. Or maybe not:
Extending the tiltrotor’s flying distance would require the constant attention of Air Force aerial tankers, which can cost up to $10,000 per hour to operate. The V-22 is also slightly slower than the C-2, can’t fly as high because it’s unpressurized and costs more: $68 million for a new V-22 compared to an estimated $50 million for a new C-2.
We talked earlier about the proposed aerial tanker role for the Osprey. Also the Osprey did operate in a COD role for the deployed airwing on the USS Bataan during combat operations off Libya in 2011. The Osprey is a new platform and has enough flexibility to operate in an “impromptu COD” role but I think the C-2 is better suited.
The Axe piece makes for interesting reading and makes me think how flexible the Osprey platform is.