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Osprey makes landmark Mercy landing

Sailors aboard hospital ship USNS Mercy fuel an MV-22B Osprey on the flight deck. (Photo: USN/Jake Greenberg)

MV-22B landing on the flight deck of a US hospital ship is part of a seven-month period of dynamic tests.

A V-22 Osprey has landed on a hospital vessel flight deck for the first time, US Military Sealift Command Pacific announced on 16 April.

The MV-22B landing on USNS Mercy took place on 14 April, under a seven-month period of dynamic interface testing operations off Southern California.

‘The operations are tests for compatibility usage of variants of the V-22 Osprey and MH-60 Seahawk with the ship's new flight deck,’ MSC Pacific noted in a statement.

The flight deck was expanded and reinforced ‘to accommodate the size, weight and heat of larger aircraft, allowing the ship to receive patients and supplies through a variety of aviation platforms’, it added.

Over the course of several days, the ship will exercise with the V-22, practising take-offs and landings from Mercy, followed by operations with the MH-60s.

The dynamic interface operations are one of many training, testing and inspection periods the Mercy will undergo in preparation for future missions, including the Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission.

S: Shephard Media

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