This gives "numerous options" for the Marine Corps aviation to refuel its airplanes, such as the F-35 attack jet, says Col. Kevin Killea, who oversees Marine Corps aviation requirements. The stealthy, long-range fighter jet known as the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter would have the benefit of refueling from an MV-22, which would be "autonomous to the Marine Corps."
"So I don't have to ask anyone to use them. I know I always have them, so I can plan to do that, and that's a pretty good certainty," Killea says.
Commanders of deployed Marine Expeditionary Units currently have to send a request to a higher command for a tanker to refuel its jets. Using MV-22s would bring that responsibility in-house for the MEU to save complication and time.
The MV-22's speed and range also allows it to keep up with modern, stealthy aircraft, such as the F-35. This new capability would extend the range of the JSF from 450 miles to 600 miles, Marine officials say."