A United States Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor has conducted six deck landings on board HMAS Canberra on while the ship was taking part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 off the north-east coast of Hawaii.
The landings on July 12, conducted as part of a US Navy and USMC aviation integration program to clear its rotary-wing assets for operations from the new Royal Australian Navy’s new amphibious assault ships, mark the first time a V-22 has landed on board an Australian LHD.
Sistership to HMAS Canberra and Adelaide, the Spanish Navy’s Juan Carlos I, has operated MV-22s on board over the past year, including an embarkation of the type.
The Canberra will likely see Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper, UH-1Y, UH-1Z and potentially CH-53 helicopters cross its deck during the course of the five-week-long exercise, but F-35B and AV-8B “jump jets” are not part of the integration program.
The RAN aims to achieve full operating capability (FOC) for the two LHDs in mid-2017.
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