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Nov 01, 2005


Edward Johnson

The Corps should cancel this project and reallocate the funds toward a replacement medium lift chopper to replace the CH-46's and just buy more CH/MH 53's. It cost too much per lift-mile ($'s per pound of lift per mile of lift). The replacement cost of each Osprey (and they will be lost due to combat or accidents) would buy multiple helicopters that are nearly as capable, a known quantity, and much more affordable. When they came out to the Marine Staff-NCO academy to update us on the status of this program, I told them they were setting us up for a ride into a fight in gold-plated battle cadillacs. Needless to say I got a frown. I am NOT a Luddite and generally believe that newer technologies have a useful place on the battlefield when they confer a distinct advantage with respect to the conflict that is being waged. The Ospey confers no distinct advantage to a conventional expeditionary force like the Marines that is fighting a land based conflict with an unconventional enemy. In fact, they have a larger footprint and will be less able to deliver troops and supplies into tight LZ's. They also take up more space in a carrier, reducing the total number of aircraft deployable on a single platform.
On the other hand, the Osprey would be useful as a Special Ops delivery vehicle, being relatively fast and having a good payload and a relatively smaller redar signature. It could deliver special ops teams or supplies to distant locations with less time exposure over hostile territories.
Also Ospreys could be useful for Coast Guard SAR missions to distant points where time is of the essence.
Hand this over to another service and get back to basics, buy more or newer choppers.

Ed Johnson

Nick at POGO

I think there's a few things that need to be clarified. The V-22 needs a de-icing system. NAVAIR,as Joe pointed out, even says that all production MV-22s will have them and should. And a de-icing system is being developed. If anything, the event on Oct 18th underscores the need for an anti-ice system.

This issue alone isn't significant, as long as a working de-icing system is developed and incorporated in V-22s. What is significant is that many weapon systems, such as the V-22, are fielded with major deficiencies that should have been solved during OPEVAL or shortly thereafter. Hopefully the de-icing issue won't be a problem for too much longer. But even if it is resolved there are numerous issues with the V-22 including its cost (Joe's "strategic procurement level" argument), the fact that "It can’t autorotate to a safe landing, has no defensive gun, lacks the ability to perform quick evasive combat maneuvers under fire, and can’t descend too quickly or it will go into a dangerous roll."


Katz is often right and I usually appreciate his insight. Although I'm suspect of some of his comments because he apparently doesn't live in America. However, Brad to compare the V-22 compressor issue to your car radio is beyond silly. Unless you're driving a Kia when was the last time your radio disrupted power in your car engine? I'll let POGO comment for themselves, I think the blogger is a Nick, but they have complained about a lot more than just this one problem. I think they have an entire laundry list of concerns. It is probably somewhere on that web site of theirs. They do need to do more about pointing out weapons that work.


Katzman is right. The V22 is slated to replace my old bird, the H46E and it is open to considerable criticism over whether it can provide even that old utility. On the other hand, a deicing regime is hardly a make or break impossible-to-incorporate change, even if it was an actual problem. Over the lifetime of the airframe massive changes will be needed, such as assuredly engine, drive, hydraulic, avionic and computer components, that will be far more invasive and material than heating inlet surfaces or separating inlet particulates.

If this, for the sake of argument, is your most pointed criticism of the program, it would be safe, it would in fact be absolutely incumbent upon a fair observer to point out that fixing the issue would save far more money than abandoning the entire program. It would be like trading in your car because you didn't like the radio.

Joe Katzman

POGO asks: "Why aren’t de-icing systems already onboard an aircraft that the Pentagon says is ready for prime time?"

How about, because it's an early-model test aircraft?

"Our sources told us that the aircraft, CV-22 #6, flew into a storm cloud and experienced a compressor stall"

Well, apparently it wasn't just a storm cloud, it was prolonged flight in hostile conditions. And the Navy says no stall. Someone here is either lying or mistaken - and if your source got the environmental aspect wrong, it suggests that the other stuff is also likely to be wrong.

"Is it really safe to send the V-22 into combat without a de-icing system?"

Apparently not, which is why producton MV-22s will have one per NAVAIR's clear response. You're being deliberately obtuse here. And I'll add that I'm a Canadian, so I know what it means when they said they've done 5 months of de-icing testing already in Nova Scotia. Something you didn't mention, but which was in an article you cited.

There's plenty to criticize about the V-22 on a strategic procurement level, and on a tactical mobility level as well, without stuff that, IMO, borders on deliberate untruthfulness. Recommend you stick to the points above that are solid (manual that notes power loss with de-icing - though that could = "factored in", newer Navy reports of damage/ mishap class, why were they in storm clouds in the first place, etc.), and abandon/ concede the parts that are insupportable and the questions that call your judgment into question.

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