The US Marine Corps expects to declare initial operational capability (IOC) for the Bell Boeing V-22 Aerial Refuelling System (VARS) in late 2019. VARS will be qualified with the USMC’s Boeing AV-8B, F/A-18 and Lockheed Martin F-35B strike aircraft and Sikorsky CH-53 fleets, although a testing timeline has yet to be worked out. VARS sets during 2018, with the equipment based on its existing FR300 hose-drum unit. Meanwhile, US. authorities says the V-22 programme office is looking at the feasibility of adding a chin-mounted gun and crew-served door guns for the Osprey, with the USMC particularly interested in the latter.
NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (December 16, 2021) An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), sits on the flight line at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Dec. 16, 2021. VUP-19, the Navy’s first Triton squadron, will continue to maintain and operate the aircraft off the East Coast to further develop the concept of operations and refine tactics, techniques, and procedures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan T. Beard/ Released)