HOME > War Stories & Memories >

Osprey reputation rebounds in Afghanistan

Osprey reputation rebounds in Afghanistan

Once mocked as unsafe, hybrid aircraft passes Afghan war test. Almost four years after the MV-22 Osprey arrived in Afghanistan, trailing its reputation as being dangerous and hard to maintain, the U.S. Marine Corps finally has had an opportunity to test the controversial hybrid aircraft in real war conditions.

The reviews are startlingly positive.

“This is an ugly duckling that turned into a swan,” said Richard Whittle, the author of a book about the craft and a senior scholar at the Wilson Center, a research center in Washington.

The Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but rotates its engines forward to fly like an airplane, had a star-crossed development period that took more than two decades and included huge cost overruns and crashes that claimed 30 lives. Its deployment to Iraq’s Anbar province from 2007 to 2009, where as combat waned it was used mainly to transport people and cargo, garnered criticism from the Government Accountability Office over maintenance and performance issues.

In Afghanistan, however, the Marines have been able to use it more widely, flying it for everything from freight to hundreds of assaults, where it has carried loads of Marines into or out of landing zones, often under intense fire. It is twice as fast as the helicopter it replaces, the CH-46, and it has substantially greater range. It also can carry more cargo and more than twice as many troops.

A typical use is taking advantage of the aircraft’s speed and range to hook around behind a target for an assault, coming in from an unexpected direction and circumventing the Taliban’s crude air-warning system, which often is a line of watchers with cellphones.

The current version of the Osprey is far safer than earlier ones; it’s now among the safest rotary-wing aircraft in the military. “This isn’t your grandfather’s Osprey,” said Whittle, once a skeptic of the aircraft.

Still, the Osprey is expensive — $122.5 million each, according to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a persistent critic — and it isn’t cheap to maintain, particularly in harsh operating environments such as the extravagantly dusty south of Afghanistan.

Source: CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan, Times Dispatch News - 19 May 2013

Photo: A crew works on an U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The craft takes off and lands like a helicopter but also flies like an airplane. (Photo by McClatchy-Tribune)



American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News

• USAF F-22 Raptor stealth jets got 587 aircraft to back off in their ‘combat surge’ over Syria

U.S. Air Force F-22s recently completed their first “combat surge” in operations over Syria, and in doing so deterred almost 600 Syria, Iranian and Russian combat aircraft in the c...>>

• Historical Events on January 18 - On This Day

January 18 - Military and Military Aviation History (War Stories & Memories) - On This Day...>>

• 2 Million Dead or More: North Korea war

2 Million Dead (or More): Why the World Is Not Ready for War with North Korea. The label of the North Korean state as a Marxist-Leninist regime, even of the particularly repressive...>>

• US Pullout From INF Treaty Likely to Set Off New Cold War - NSA Whistleblower

Former NSA technical director William Binney claims that any US unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty could trigger a new Cold War between R...>>

• Russian Arms Exporter, Czech Enterprise Win NATO Bid to Repair Afghan Mi-17

The Czech Republic's Lom Praha state enterprise has won jointly with Russia's Rosoboronexport arms exporter a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) tender on the repair of Mi-1...>>

• Syrian Air Force denies “bulk” of planes moved to Russian airbase

Several U.S. media outlets claimed on Wednesday that the Syrian Air Force moved its assets to the Russian-controlled Hmaymim Airbase in southwest Latakia....>>

• Saudi Arabian tank crew burnt alive after Houthi ambush in Yemen

Cross-border operations are taking a deadly toll on the Saudi Arabian Army (KSA) as Houthi-led troops continue to conduct hit-and-run attacks across three southern governorates of ...>>


       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,