Cobham Contracted to Develop Aerial Refueling Kit for V-22
(Source: Cobham plc; issued Oct 25, 2016)
The US Marine Corps wants to deploy the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor in the aerial tanker role on its amphibious warfare ships, and has contracted Britain’s Cobham to develop a palletized system. (Twitter photo)
Cobham has been awarded a contract by the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office to develop a palletized aerial refuelling system to give the the US Marine Corps’ MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the ability to refuel other aircraft while in flight.

Known as V-22 Aerial Refueling System (VARS), the system will utilize Cobham's existing FR300 Hose Drum Unit with some modifications. The roll-on/roll-off kit will enable the Marines to use their land- and carrier-based MV-22B aircraft to refuel F-35B Lightning II and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, thereby extending their operational range and loiter times.

Design and production of VARS will occur at the Cobham Mission Systems facility in Davenport, Iowa. Deliveries of VARS will commence in 2018, upon completion of rigorous analysis and testing of the system.

Kevin McKeown, Vice President and General Manager of Cobham Mission Systems, said: "With VARS we continue the tradition of providing industry leading aerial refueling capability to war fighters. This program will enable the Marines to extend the flying range of their fighter aircraft and allow for efficient shipboard operations."


Cobham is a leading global technology and services innovator. We employ around 11,000 people on five continents, and have customers and partners in over 100 countries, with market leading positions in: wireless, audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; air-to-air refuelling; aviation services; life support and mission equipment.

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