V-22 Osprey manufacturer Bell Boeing V-22 successfully tested its forward-firing capability last month at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona, it was announced Monday.
Company officials said the test showed the V-22 can be armed with a variety of forward-facing munitions and can hit targets with a high degree of reliability. That will reduce the Osprey’s reliance on forward arming and refueling points, which are sometimes necessary to supply short-range attack rotorcraft in support of V-22 operations.
Vince Tobin, vice president and program manager for the Bell Boeing V-22, said this would allow the V-22 to be launched more frequently and on shorter notice.
Forward-facing weapons and armor protection are among several quick-turnaround upgrades that US Special Operations Command is pursuing after three Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Ospreys were shot up over Juba, South Sudan, a year ago, a program official said in May.
I don't think this is the solution to provide the Osprey with a weapon system.
V-22 needs a weapon that can provide supressive fire during the approach to a Landing Zone (LZ) where the aircraft is most vulnerable.
This forward firing missile system cannot satisfy securing hot/unknown LZs. And 2-4 missiles wont make the Osprey an equivalent to a dedicated attack aircraft such as USMC AH-1Z or US Army's AH-64.
The system proposed for the V22 in the past would be a much better approach to weaponizing the Osprey.