Ospreys in Afghanistan

Well. It looks like the first squadron deployment of MV-22B Ospreys to Afghanistan has begun.

I’m ambivalent about the whole Osprey program. I’m willing to stipulate that it is a very impressive aircraft. But is it the right aircraft for the Marines? What say you?

H/T: Theo Spark

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9 thoughts on “Ospreys in Afghanistan”

  1. It’s the right aircraft for the Marines if we are to believe they still need amphibious capability. The Osprey gives them over-the-horizon assault capability that current aircraft does not allow.

    Besides, they need a medium-lift replacement anyway.

  2. Gaige, I’m very much in agreement that they need a replacement for the Ch-46. But what good is the 250mph of the Osprey if its escort, the Cobra, can only manage about 175mph? And can they really afford a $44m helicopter that can only carry 24 troops?

    Why not go with a CH-47 variant? You can carry twice the troops at almost 200mph, for a similar range, which gives you more troops per lift. The Chinook has a similar footprint on a ship, costs way less, and can be armed.

  3. I think sending it to Afghanistan is the best way to answer the questions.

    If it works, If it can be developed beyond what it is today, If …. some of those if’s can be big winners. I think the plus-side is so large the experiment needs to run until it fails.

  4. Hope the Ospreys have some really good pilots. A machine that goes from being a Chinook, to a C-123, with the flip of a switch, is dangerous. One wrong move, and you have pile of molten metal and Marines. Myself, I’d just prefer to fly really fast, in either a Blackhawk, or a C-130. That way, the pilot has to think about one way, of flying the aircraft.

  5. The problem is that the V-22, while a tech wonder, was shoved through the DoD.

    The Navy & USMC fell in love with “over the horizon” landings during the Cold War. Send Marines out from the ships outside the range of anti-ship missiles (like Exocet). Don’t get me wrong , the V-22 is a wonderful tech achievement. But like the aircraft it was supposed to replace (Ch-46), the V-22 has safety issues.

    There are helicopters that could replace the CH-46, but the navy never looked at them. Take the S-92, Canada’s buying it. USN? Not interested.

    At this point the CH-46 will keep trying to kill marines due to its age and design (it rolls over when it crashes, espically in water). We need a replacement.

    Sadly, killing the V-22 won’t be cheap, it looks like its here to stay.

  6. An elegant but expensive solution. I had my doubts given the initial fatal mishaps but reliability seems improved.

    Speed to the battlefield is obviously better but it’s just as vulnerable as any helo when landing and taking off in a hot LZ. We’ve already invested a fortune on the technology but I wonder if we could have done better.

  7. They could just build a CH46 in the shape of an artillery shell and shoot, er…. eh… launch, probably a better word, marines, ballistically, at the LZ. Airbags, seatbelts, strong nose-cones, etc. Fast transit through the danger zone and onto the LZ ain’t in it. Of course the charge for an OTH shot would probably sink an LPD with the recoil, still there are always drawbacks…

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