Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, isn’t ready to say the command should buy more than 50 CV-22 Ospreys and instead intends to keep focus on getting the current buy of those new tiltrotors fielded quickly. On Sept. 15, during AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Wurster did say that the continued growth of US Special Operations Command could indicate that “there probably is a point in the future where [the CV-22 number] may have to change.” Earlier at the conference, Gene Cunningham, Bell Boeing’s VP for the Osprey program, said the program is on track for completion by the end of Fiscal 2016 and could finish up sooner thanks to war supplemental funding. The Osprey multiyear procurement arrangement enables USAF to add five additional airframes each year through 2014. Both AFSOC and the Marine Corps want to get more aircraft sooner. Bell Boeing has been working with its supplier base, since the MYP went into effect, to anticipate a faster pace. “We don’t want people being surprised,” Cunningham said.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.