View Full Version : Lawmaker: Time to put Osprey out of its misery

06-25-2009, 10:23 AM
Lawmaker: Time to put Osprey out of its misery

By Amy McCullough - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jun 24, 2009 21:07:31 EDT

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommended Tuesday that the production of all MV-22 Ospreys be halted, saying that after more than two decades the hybrid aircraft still can’t complete the missions for which it was designed.

“It’s time to put the Osprey out of its misery, and time to put the taxpayers out of their miseries,” Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., said following testimony on Capitol Hill from leading Marine aviation officials, representatives of the Government Accountability Office and defense analysts. Towns said he plans to present his recommendation to the House Appropriations Committee.

His comments come after the release Tuesday of a scathing report from the GAO questioning the Osprey’s ability to operate in Afghanistan and on Navy ships. Moreover, the program’s research, development, test and evaluation costs soared more than 200 percent — from $4.2 billion to $12.7 billion — between 1986 and 2007, according to the report, which notes also that the cost to procure the aircraft has jumped from $34.4 billion to $42.6 billion, even though the total buy has dropped from nearly 1,000 aircraft to less than 500.

And while its three consecutive deployments to Iraq prove the Osprey can complete its mission, “challenges may limit its ability to accomplish the full repertoire of missions of the legacy helicopters it is replacing,” the report says.

Marine officials staunchly defended the aircraft, saying it has the ability to save lives by flying high above the threats that insurgents and traditional combat weapons present.

The GAO report makes several observations, including:

• The Corps has been forced to “cannibalize” its MV-22s and the Osprey production line because parts wear out much quicker than anticipated.

• The aircraft lacks an integrated weapon system capable of suppressing threats while approaching a landing zone.

• The Osprey’s size prohibits it from fully using all the deck spots aboard Navy ships, and its “large inventory” of spare parts takes up too much room on the hangar deck space.

Retired Lt. Col. Dakota Wood, senior fellow for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, has suggested the Corps reconsider its plan to replace all of its CH-46E Sea Knight and CH-53D Sea Stallions and consider a mixed fleet instead.

“A mixed medium-lift fleet composed of MV-22s and a new helicopter would provide more options and increased flexibility for the service at less cost than a fleet composed only of MV-22s,” Wood said. http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/06/marine_osprey_afghanistan_062309/

06-25-2009, 11:08 AM
Good call finaly somebody who can see sense - first time I saw that aircraft I was like - nigga what? Doesn't look to revolutionary too me - 4 years later and after billions spend they pull the plug - should have asked me to begin with I could have saved the USA a lot of cash ;)

06-25-2009, 01:40 PM
All of this time and it's still a piece of shit lol?

06-25-2009, 01:44 PM
It depends on who you talk to . The commandant of the Marine Corps loves it nad want's it bad. They also have just developed a chin mounted retractable gun for it, and the Air Force wants it for the CSAR role . Personally I have no idea.

06-25-2009, 02:20 PM
polotics once again rearsits ugly head in the procurment of weapons and platforms.

06-25-2009, 02:56 PM
Well thankfully I haven't heard of any crashes or really much bad news at all as of late

06-29-2009, 05:14 PM
Well thankfully I haven't heard of any crashes or really much bad news at all as of late

Amen brother

06-29-2009, 06:22 PM
Yeah right.... Let's let the congressmen decide what works for our military, and what doesn't.

So far, I have nothing but good things about this aircraft. From what I've heard, it has been very effective and successful at completing it's missions. Yeah, it was a lot of money that got put into the testing of the aircraft, and a few crashes, as well. But the Harrier had more than it's fair share of problems, as well, and look at it now.

While I do agree that they shouldn't retire Corps' other troop transport aircraft, I don't think that they should halt the Osprey program either. Perhaps just slow it down a bit? I think that it's still important to maintain other aircraft as well. I agree with the mixed fleet idea.

06-30-2009, 05:00 PM
It isn't quite CSAR, but it is a start!

U.S. Marines onboard the USS Bataan, an amphibious ship, got a chance to use the tiltrotor for the medical evacuation of a sailor June 25.
The ship ordered two Ospreys enroute back to the ship after a mission to fly at max speed. Once onboard, the sailor, who sustained hip injuries and chest pains after falling, was loaded up. Some medical support equipment was also flown, as shown in the pics. The sailor was then flown 147 naut. mi. in 37 min to a regional airport and then transferred via ambulance to a hospital for more medical attention, the Marines say.

The V-22 has been an on-again/off-again candidate for the USAF Combat Search and Rescue-X (CSAR-X) competition. Nothing like the endorsement of a customer to try and prove a point. Of course on this mission there was no shooting or searching, but it shows that the speed and versatility of the aircraft are an asset for medical evacuation missions.

The news release of the mission came in the midst of a re-emergence of criticism from lawmakers of the aircraft's cost and reliability.