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USN pauses C-2A retirement to cover COD gap

A C-2A Greyhound launches from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2017. C-2As are back on west coast carrier decks after the grounding of their replacement, the CMV-22B. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) has paused the retirement of the C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft as it works to bridge the immediate gap left by the grounding of its successor CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor.

C-2As from Naval Air Station Norfolk's Virginia-based Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC 40) are now deployed to aircraft carriers in the US Pacific Fleet that would otherwise be without COD support, Vice Admiral Dan Cheever, commander of the Naval Air Forces, said at the AFCEA International and US Naval Institute WEST 2024 conference on 13 February.

The Osprey fleet remains grounded following the 29 November 2022 crash of an air force special operations CV-22 in Japan, which killed eight crew members.

“Luckily for the navy, the C-2A Greyhound is still available,” Vice Adm Cheever said. “[There are] limited operational impacts at this point.”

US Naval Air Forces told Janes that there were still 15 C-2A Greyhounds in service with VRC 40 to support logistics and personnel transfers on both coasts, adding that “VRC 40 is currently surging to meet the carrier onboard delivery mission for deployed aircraft carriers in the US 5th and 7th Fleets, [and] USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt are both supported by C-2 detachments”.

While some C-2s have been stored, the navy has no plans to regenerate any of these airframes. At this stage, US Naval Air Forces said there has been “no change” to the planned 2026 sundown of the C-2A.

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