Re: Osprey Update...

Message posted by Magoo on March 13, 2001 at 18:14:28 PST:

This from the Chicago Tribune...

- High-level officials in the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations tried to stop development of the program before this administration took office. Each time, powerful members of Congress managed to bring it back to life--arguing, like the Marines, that the Pentagon needed it for its defense capabilities. But the fact that parts of the aircraft are made in 43 states has given it a ready-made congressional constituency.

Vice President Dick Cheney tried but failed to stop the Osprey a decade ago when he was defense secretary. Even the Pentagon didn't want it, but Cheney couldn't halt it. "I tried three separate times," Cheney told the Tribune in an interview last week. "My argument then was that we could do the mission the Marines needed to have done of moving troops from ship to shore by helicopter for about half the price of the V-22. Each time I shot it down Congress would reinstate it." -

I agree that it would be cheaper to buy around 450 CH-47Es than 350 But in 20 years, the Marines are going to have increased capabilities across the board (aircraft, armoured vehicles, guns and other man portable weapons and equipment, ships etc), and still have 50 year old design choppers to support these capabilities, and this will be a weak link. The CH-47 flies at half the speed, and about a third the range of the V-22. Yes, it can lift more, but its range drastically suffers accordingly.

I think the DoD needs to bite the bullet, even delay the V-22 a year or so to get the bugs sorted. The crews love it, and the Marines really want and need it. This quote from another news link...

- General Jones said even the Marine Corps pilots he spoke with after a memorial service for the victims of the December crash implored him to keep the program on track. He said those pilots, like the senior Marine Corps leaders, believe the MV-22 is the right replacement for the service's aging fleet of CH-46 (and CH-53) helicopters and will prepare the way for the future.-

Just for the are a couple of other aircraft that were intially troubled and suffered a high early loss rate, but went on to be outstandingly successful.

* Messershmitt Me-109
* Lockheed P-38 Lighting
* NA P-51 Mustang
* General Dynamics F-111
* Lockheed F-117


In Reply to: Re: Osprey Update... posted by gary on March 13, 2001 at 17:56:35 PST:


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