Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Osprey Aircraft To Take Off In Iraq

The V-22 Osprey takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but then flies like a plane.
by Fanny Carrier
Washington (AFP) April 13, 2007
The US Osprey aircraft is to spread its wings for the first time in Iraq from September despite suffering fatal accidents and serious setbacks during development, officials said Friday. Thanks to its revolutionary design with two tilting sets of rotors mounted on its wings, the V-22 Osprey takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but then flies like a plane.

First conceived some 20 years ago, the Osprey has been plagued by numerous setbacks and had several accidents which have claimed about 30 lives.

In 1992, seven people were killed when a prototype model crashed, and in 2000 23 people died in two separate accidents which effectively grounded the project for several years.

But now military commanders say it has overcome difficulties such as faults with the hydraulic system, an aerodynamic imbalance on landing as well as computer problems.

It will be "truly a historic day for your Marine Corps," said the commander of the Marine Corps, General James Conway, referring to the deployment of the aircraft in Iraq.

"The quantum leap in technology that this aircraft will bring to the fight has been a road marked by some setbacks, lots of sacrifices, and the success of these Marines standing before you today."

The Marines are planning to acquire some 360 of the aircraft, which cost more than 70 million dollars each, but which they believe can fly higher, faster and farther than their aging CH-46 helicopters which date from the Vietnam War.

Conway stressed that a squadron of specialized Marines would be deployed in Al-Asad in Iraq from September to fly the aircraft, which can carry up to 24 Marines and their equipment.

"We've gone through a very deliberate process to ensure that operationally, logistically, that the squadron and the aircraft is ready to deploy," added Lieutenant General John Castellaw, deputy commander for aviation.

"It's been through extensive operational testing and evaluation, and it is our fervent feeling that this aircraft is the most capable, survivable aircraft that we carry our most important weapon system in, which is the Marine or rifleman, and that we will successfully introduce this aircraft in combat."

The aircraft, jointly built by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing, can fly higher than helicopters well out of range of most missiles fired from the ground as well as small arms fire.

"We have is an aircraft that goes twice as fast. It goes three times as far. And it is the most survivable by about six or seven times of what the aircraft it replaces is," said Castellaw, adding it could get "above the threat."

Ten US helicopters -- including two operated by private security firms -- have now come down in Iraq since January 20, most of them to hostile fire.

Castellaw said that from his own experience he had found the Osprey which has a "primary mission is to take Marines into combat" was "powerful and agile."

"I flown the V-22. And I have taken it and used it in a tactical manner, how we would employ it," he said.

The Marine Corps already has 46 of the aircraft which they have been using for training purposes, and from next year they hope that two squadrons a year will be able to move from CH-46 helicopters to the Osprey with the transition to be complete by 2018.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
US Marines
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at SpaceWar.com

New Mission Control Room Ready For F-35 Flight Tests
Edwards AFB CA (AFNS) Apr 16, 2007
The newest range mission control room built to test the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was officially commissioned here April 11.







  • Royal Navy's Shame
  • Chinese PM Seeks New Trust With Japan
  • US Backs NATO Enlargement
  • Japan To Consider Fighting For Allies Under Attack

  • Should Russia Quit The Treaty On Medium And Short-Range Missiles
  • Nuclear Ball In Pyongyang's Court
  • India Eyes ICBMs After Testing China-Specific Missile
  • Iran Seeks Bids For Two New Nuclear Plants

  • India Dismisses Airline Complaints Over Missile Test
  • Thailand Embark On Local Missile Program
  • Lockheed Martin Demonstrates P44 Missile Performance And Agility
  • Raytheon Awarded Contract To Produce Missile Launchers For US Navy

  • Russia Targets Counteroffensive Against ABM
  • Raytheon Receives Contracts For Patriot Missile Facility Support
  • Luna To Supply Sensors For Interceptor Kill Vehicles
  • Iran Helps US Missile Shield

  • Nondestructive Testing Keeps Bagram Aircraft Flying
  • New FAA Oceanic Air Traffic System Designed By Lockheed Martin Fully Operational
  • NASA Seeks New Research Proposals
  • Germans Urged To Give Foreign Travel A Rest To Curb Global Warming

  • Next-Generation Global Hawk Makes Maiden Flight
  • New Global Hawk Fuselage Exceeds US Air Force Strength And Safety Requirements
  • Thales Conducts Research Into Mine Warfare For French Defence Procurement Agency
  • Insitu Selects RTI For Unmanned Air-Vehicle Products

  • No Solid Stats On Iraq Security
  • Wasting Money In Iraq
  • US General Sees Protests As Signs Of Freedom In Iraq
  • The Truck Bomb Menace Spreads

  • Osprey Aircraft To Take Off In Iraq
  • New Mission Control Room Ready For F-35 Flight Tests
  • Boeing Tests First SBInet Mobile Sensor Tower
  • Northrop Grumman Wins Deal For Ground-Air Task Oriented Radar

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement