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Bell-Boeing's MV-22 Osprey heads to Iraq
The MV-22 will have serve a seven month tour of duty in Iraq

Bell-Boeing's V-22 Osprey first took to the air nearly 20 years ago and the road to active duty has been a long one. When DailyTech last visited the tilt-rotor aircraft, the Air Force's CV-22 Osprey was criticized for its "poor aircraft availability" and "marginal operational availability" during desert testing at Kirkland Air Force Base.

"Frequent part and system failures, limited supply support, and high false alarm rates in the built-in diagnostic systems caused frequent flight delays and an excessive maintenance workload," claimed the report which was released earlier this year.

"This produces a maintenance and support burden that the Marines really can’t afford. All of the reliability problems that they continue to have here in the [United] States -- it’s going to drive them crazy overseas," said Philip Coyle, senior advisor for the Center for Defense Information.

Despite the troubles, the U.S. Marines will be deploying seven of its similar MV-22 Ospreys to Iraq in September. The Marines are hoping that the Osprey’s speed will allow it to quickly transport troops and make it less of a target for insurgents than slower, traditional helicopters.

"It is our fervent feeling that this aircraft is the most capable, survivable aircraft that we carry our most important weapons system in, which is the Marine or rifleman," said Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, the deputy commandant for aviation for the Marines. "If you've ever gone rabbit hunting, you know that it's harder to shoot a rabbit that's running than the one that's sitting still."

The push for the Osprey to enter regular military service has been a long time coming. In 2007 alone, there have been six crashes involving U.S. helicopters in Iraq. The Osprey's enviable speed (top speed 316MPH), ability to take-off and land like a helicopter and an operating range that is three to five times that of traditional helicopters should make it a great workhorse during its seven month deployment.

The V-22 Osprey is destined to replace the Marines' CH-46 Sky King by 2018. When compared to the CH-46, the Osprey has a range that is three times farther and has six to seven times the survivability in the field.

The tilt-rotor aircraft has been in development for over 20 years at a cost of over $20 billion USD.

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RE: Marketing Hype
By rippleyaliens on 4/16/2007 3:22:34 PM , Rating: 3
Well as a Former Marine Grunt as well, i say give me the OSPREY ASAP.. You of all people, know how delicate the ch46 is.. With the saying that if it aint leaking, then something is wrong.. The ch46, IE the chinok, ANOTHER helicopter, that the world ALWAYS said, couldnt fly.. IE the helicopter with 2 main roters, with no small tail roter.. The Osprey is definetly a needed asset. The ablity to move 300 + miles within 90 minutes is just plain unheard of now.. IE 50 miles in less than 15min.. completely awesome.

Every known helo- in the United States Arsenol, has came under fire.. Helicopters are aircraft, by sheer physics, shouldnt really be able to fly, let alone, do all the things that they do..
BUT as of today, the military depends more so on Helo-s then airplane. Osprey's turn in the fire.. Yes we will loose some. As with blackhawks, apaches, UH-1's, Cobra's, and ch46's. WITH THE LAST 3 HELO's listed, over 30 years old..

out with old, in with new..
PS, to the original helo pilot who posted.. Cause you arent flying the osprey, doesnt mean that it isnt needed.. They said same thing about the CH53 (IE TOO BIG, why needed),, now it is main helo, in the US Marines, based on the size, and speed, not to mention the power. Give the thing a chance.. its not like the USA has something on the horizon anyway...

No war can be Won.. Once you understand that, then the objective is easy.. SURVIVE

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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