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V22 Osprey discussion thread Mk II

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V22 Osprey discussion thread Mk II

Old 7th Apr 2014, 14:56
  #501 (permalink)  
 
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The trouble is, people who are unfamiliar with aviation will read Carlton Meyer/Bob Cox/David Axe's self-serving, bullsh*t career work and take is as gospel.
There are far more individuals out there who have been spouting far more entirely inaccurate BS in opposition to the V-22 for far longer.

See: the entire G2mil website, written by an absolute aviation layman of Meyer (I am being generous with even that assessment) whose technical assessments written on his site are frankly laughable. This website is repeatedly cited/linked by hoardes of other "people unfamiliar with aviation" in arguments why the V-22 is supposedly so terrible.

I find it humorous that any (even seemingly) positive piece with regards to Osprey elicits these responses from its detractors, for whom their standard modus operandi was to shout from the mountaintop every time there was a compressor stall or cautionary landing back in 2007.
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Old 7th Apr 2014, 15:38
  #502 (permalink)  
 
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One needs to read up a bit about Secretary Lehman and his time as SecNav.

Everything about him is controversial including his Navy Wings.

Pay attention to the politics over the 600 Ship Navy and the reasoning behind it!

We didn't need it, could not afford it, could not Man it, and could not sustain it.

I was around when the "rebellion" was going on and saw it being fought.

After all that, you can make up your own mind how much credibility John Lehman has.

Amazon Amazon
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Old 7th Apr 2014, 16:03
  #503 (permalink)  
 
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We didn't need it, could not afford it, could not Man it, and could not sustain it.
Whether or not we needed it (not going there) the manning piece was the critical truth that too many folks were not willing to face. We had a hard enough time recruiting and retaining enough people in the not-quite-six-hundred-ship-Navy as it was.
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Old 7th Apr 2014, 19:17
  #504 (permalink)  
 
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Say whaaaaaat?! I'm sure Bell Helicopter will be pleased to know that all of the work they'd done developing the tilt-rotor concept since 1953 was actually done by NASA. Sure.
The USN and USMC were looking at the XV-15 which came about as a result of the Tilt Rotor Research Aircraft project run and funded by NASA Ames. Bell was the contractor. Bell did the initial envelope expansion on ship #1 and NASA did flight research (with Bell support) on ship #2 which was permanently stationed at Ames.

Turns out Lehman was right and FH was wrong...again.
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Old 9th Apr 2014, 12:39
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Turns out Lehman was right and FH was wrong...again.
Don't think anybody who has read this thread would be surprised by that!!
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Old 9th Apr 2014, 12:41
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Marines want new technology for post-Benghazi crisis-response missions

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — The Marine Corps is testing hand-held tablet computers designed to give ground troops real-time target intelligence while en route to a raid point, and officials say the technological leap will change how the service carries out crisis-response missions in hostile parts of the world.
The effort falls in line with the recent Marine Corps strategy to remake itself following budget cuts and the close of its long-term commitments in two land wars. The particular emphasis — combining mobile technology with older amphibious helicopter doctrine — is in part a reaction to larger scale demands of President Obama’s Pacific pivot, as well as the smaller scale demands of the post-Benghazi diplomatic security climate in Africa.
In late March, a company-size landing team composed of about 100 students attending the Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va., traveled via MV-22 Ospreys from this desert training base in Twentynine Palms to San Clemente Island off the California coast. The training scenario called for them to eliminate cruise missile threats and take back an airfield from enemy forces.
One of the three Ospreys was no average aircraft though — it was an airborne communication gateway, equipped with an encrypted internal wifi network that linked to several Samsungtablets carried by Marines riding in the aircraft. Hovering above the target was a notional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, its sensors pointed at the objective, which then beamed encrypted data to the Marines en route to the raid.
“As opposed to … getting back in the aircraft and falling asleep and waking up when the aircraft touches the deck, now I’m paying attention to what’s going on,” said Capt. Jonathan Cohen, one of the students’ instructors. “I’m understanding what the enemy is [doing] on my objective, how they’re oriented and potentially even looking at a photo of my objective.”
That information is transmitted to the tablets in the form of maps and images. They can also use a messaging application to share information with other ground forces. Those leading the operation can access the information in order to plan and, perhaps more importantly, quickly adapt plans for how the Marines should respond to potential threats once they land.
“Coming off the bird, we already knew we were going to take contact because we had already identified the exact number of enemy that were at the [landing zone],” said 2nd Lt. Travis Bird, an IOC student. “Without the technology, we wouldn’t be able to do that and we potentially could’ve been caught off guard.”
The absence of comprehensive on-the-ground intelligence was among the reasons the Obama administration has cited for not dispatching more troops during the deadly 2011 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Along with the formation of the Marine Corps’ new crisis-response task force, which is based in Spain, officials hope that such technological advancements will help prevent a similar situation in the future.
By connecting ground forces with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets typically reserved for commanders and mission planners, Marines can obtain photos and other information in real time, which will give them an advantage when they arrive in the midst of a hostile situation, said Col. Michael Orr, commanding officer of Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22.
Now, instead of relying solely on pre-mission intelligence briefings and information that could be hours old by the time they arrive on scene, troops see with their own eyes how the situation looks just moments before putting boots on the ground, Orr said. That’s an advantage even most special operations troops went without only a few years ago.
“I believe it’s revolutionary,” he said. “Instead of all of that information residing at the higher headquarters, we now have the ability to use technology to push that picture ... to our mission commanders in the back of the aircraft who can then make smart tactical decisions based on the changing scenario.”
Some airlines have adopted wi-fi capability, so it's good to see the military is as well!!
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Old 9th Apr 2014, 13:07
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Inside the White House's New Combat-Era Transport

The MV-22 Osprey sheds troubled history to become the new swanky ride for the president's entourage.


The MV-22 Osprey from the Marine Corps' HMX-1 squadron sits after landing behind the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

By Paul D. Shinkman April 8, 2014

SOMEWHERE OVER THE POTOMAC RIVER – A sharply painted hunter green MV-22 Osprey taxies up near a hangar at the sprawling Marine Corps Base Quantico in central coastal Virginia. It has been pouring down rain and the sky is a gray soup of fog. Yet in the time it takes to walk 100 yards to the awaiting hybrid aircraft, the slick, saturated tarmac beneath the massive idling propellers has become bone dry.
It’s the first indication of the massive amounts of power employed by the Osprey – part helicopter, part airplane – that the passengers on this particular flight are about to experience.
The Marine Corps’ HMX-1 squadron, tasked with transporting the president and his entourage, took on the MV-22 as the new tool of their trade last summer. The aircraft that began with a very troubled development phase has subsequently matured into the workhorse of the Marine Corps, ubiquitous in its presence in Afghanistan and considered essential in long-range crisis response missions such as Libya or the Philippines.
It received formal endorsement from the White House last summer to become a primary mode of transportation on executive branch trips for senior presidential staff (excluding the commander-in-chief himself) as well as Secret Service support teams and White House press corps.
The White House did not immediately return requests for comment on the extra expense of these flights.
The Marine Corps wanted to show off its aerial darling Monday at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space in National Harbor, Md., and flew one of the eight MV-22s assigned to the HMX-1 squadron up along the Potomac River to a construction site behind the convention center.
The total complement of 12 aircraft will have been assigned to the squadron by this summer as the unit completes the transition, says Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Matthew Glavy, the assistant deputy commandant for aviation. He describes the squadron’s shift away from older helicopters, such as the CH-53E and CH-46, as a work of Marine Corps-wide “progress,” trading the aircraft he flew as an HMX-1 pilot for more expensive “state of the art, modern cutting edge capabilities.”

The interior of this particular MV-22 is a strange mixture of executive branch privilege and combat austerity. Passengers sit with their backs to the interior walls in cushy, leather jumpseats with seatbelts akin to a commercial airliner, not the cross-chest strapping used for combat helicopters. But these are still jumpseats, and they are completely flanked by snaking wires, cables, fittings, storage lockers and emergency equipment.
The tail ramp slowly inches closed as rain continues to fall, leaving some space open for the rear crewman to peer outside and relay instructions through his headset to the pilots up front. Another member of the crew up front braces his shoulder against a bulkhead as he peers out another window and converses with the pilots directly.
The Osprey’s ability to lift is smooth – so smooth that those on board this flight almost don’t notice that the aircraft is now airborne. But upon reaching the prescribed altitude, the unique nacelles turn, allowing the propellers to transition from a “vertical take-off” position like a helicopter into a forward position resembling a propeller airplane.
That transition is intense. The entire craft steadily rockets forward, forcing those aboard to lean way back toward the tail until their bodies catch up with the speed.
The Potomac coastline and suburban hamlets whip past the four small windows, each about the size of a pizza box. The aircraft easily makes the 40-mile trip in less than 10 minutes.
It comes to a hover, with Northern Virginia’s Old Town Alexandria bobbing in the distance out the port side window. The forward crew member moves to the starboard window as those on board start feeling the downward pressure.
“Five, four, three,” he says cooly, “two…” [THUMP]
Touchdown. Welcome to National Harbor.
Inside the White House's New Combat-Era Transport - US News

The actual plan is for the CH-46s and CH-53Es to be replaced by both MV-22s and CH-53K's giving a wide range of capabilities with the mix unless that has changed?
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Old 9th Apr 2014, 17:31
  #508 (permalink)  
 
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Well the last mention of HMX 53Ks was in the FY2010 plan, which seems to be missing from its hosted location:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/aviation...009%20ver).pdf
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Old 9th Apr 2014, 17:57
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http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/04/09/os...-over-5-years/

Osprey Readiness Rates Improved 25% over 5 years
By Michael Hoffman Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 11:27 am
Posted in Air

National Harbor, Md. — Readiness rates over the past five years for the MV-22 Osprey have risen by 25 percent while costs per flight hour have dropped by 20 percent, said Col. Dan Robinson, the V-22 program manager.

He explained that the improvements have come after a “rigorous” maintenance improvement program that has focused on diagnosing problems before they occur. V-22s units have achieved an average readiness rate per aircraft in the “high 80s,” Robinson said at the Sea Air Space Exposition here.

The V-22 program manager faced questions about how those rates were being measured after the Pentagon Inspector General said the Marine Corps had been using false reports and work orders. In the 2013 report, the Pentagon IG found that “MV-22 squadron commanders computed the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program MCR for five of the six squadrons using erroneous aircraft inventory reports and work orders.”


The announcement of the improved readiness rates come as the Pentagon seeks additional international buyers for the V-22. The U.S. is in discussions with Israel along with another 10–12 countries that have a high interest level, said Robinson who would not identify the additional countries.

To highlight the Osprey, the Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the president squadron, flew the first presidential Osprey from Marine Corps Base, Quantico, to the show here on Monday morning.

The Osprey could also appear at the Farnborough Air Show in England this July as Robinson said the Pentagon is discussing the possibility. This past February, the Osprey was displayed at the Singapore Air Show where Robinson said it received interested from multiple countries.

The U.S. did not bring the Osprey to the Paris Air Show last summer because of budget cuts associated with sequestration, but former V-22 Program Manager Col. Greg Masiello announced at the show that readiness rates had improved and costs per flight hour had dropped.

At that time, he said the readiness rates had increased by 28 percent and the costs per flight hour had dropped to $9,520 — a reduction of 19 percent, according to a report by Breaking Defense.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 08:14
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Washington 4/09/2014 @ 11:34AM
64,615 views

V-22 Tiltrotor Could Revolutionize Naval Logistics In The Pacific

If you spin a globe to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you will discover that almost no land is visible in any direction. That’s because the Pacific covers nearly a third of the Earth’s surface. The good news is that all that water protects America from potential enemies in Asia. The not-so-good news is that the Western Pacific has become the industrial heartland of the new global economy, so it is also becoming the main focus of U.S. military strategy. That means America’s joint force will be spending more time in the vast expanses of the Pacific Basin.
It’s pretty clear that any pivot to the Pacific will have to be led by the sea services — the Navy and the Marine Corps – because land bases are few and far between in the region. The handful to which the U.S. has assured access, such as on Guam, could be destroyed by adversaries during the early days of a future conflict. So America’s military presence in the Pacific will consist mainly of floating sea bases such as carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups.
Those warships, their air wings and their expeditionary units will have to be supplied with food, fuel, ammunition and other essentials from somewhere on land, because that’s where such supplies are produced and stored. Most of the supplies will come on the logistics ships that shadow the movement of the Navy’s fleet wherever it goes. But what about spare parts for fighter engines, emergency medical supplies, and other items needed right away that might not be carried on the logistics ships? And how are injured or infirm warfighters supposed to be transported quickly to hospitals ashore when their lives are at risk?
For fifty years, the Navy’s answer to such questions has been a propeller-driven aircraft called the C-2A Greyhound that flies between aircraft carriers and shore bases. The C-2A brings supplies to an aircraft carrier, and then the supplies are distributed to other warships nearby using the carrier’s helicopters in a hub-and-spoke arrangement similar to that once favored by airlines. It also carries people back and forth – sometimes thousands in the course of a six-month sea deployment. The mission is called “carrier onboard delivery,” and it evolved at a time when the main focus on naval operations was the smaller maritime expanses of the North Atlantic.
As chance would have it, the shift of strategic focus to the Pacific comes just as the Navy was starting to think about how it should conduct airborne resupply in the future, because the current fleet of 35 C-2As — all of which were built in the 1980s — will reach the end of their useful lifetime towards the end of the next decade unless they get costly upgrades. Northrop Grumman, the builder of the C-2A, has proposed modifying the planes with new wings, engines and other features that would extend their service life beyond 2040. However, a recent analysis of alternatives by the Navy gave high marks to a different approach: replacing C-2As with the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor already operated by the Marine Corps.
The V-22 Osprey combines the vertical agility of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane.

The V-22 Osprey is a genuinely revolutionary airframe because the large rotors at the tips of its wings can pivot 90 degrees in flight. What that means in practical terms is that it can take off and land like a helicopter, but once in the air it can achieve the high speed and long range of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane. Its unrefueled range of about a thousand statute miles is similar to that of the C-2A, as is its 277 miles-per-hour cruising speed. But unlike the C-2A, Osprey can be refueled in the air to extend its range and it can land pretty much anywhere. It doesn’t require the kind of landing strip that fixed-wings planes like the C-2A must have to land and take off.
(Disclosure: V-22 prime contractors Boeing and Bell Textron have contributed to my think tank, as has C-2 prime contractor Northrop Grumman.)
The Osprey’s unique combination of speed, range and vertical agility creates interesting possibilities for transforming the way that carrier onboard delivery is accomplished in the Pacific — and elsewhere. Because V-22s can land on or hover over pretty much every warship in the fleet, they have the potential to fly people and supplies directly to their intended destination at sea, eliminating the bottleneck that results when items have to be moved from C-2As to helicopters on carrier decks. That would greatly increase the volume and velocity of the resupply mission. It would also speed the movement of people in medical evacuations and other passenger trips.
An Osprey can carry about twice as much cargo internally as a C-2A (ten tons versus five) and also has the option of transporting oversized cargo in an external sling. Because it is not tethered to runways ashore, the V-22 would greatly expand the range of options for moving people and supplies needed at sea. Not only would fewer airframes be required to accomplish the resupply mission — freeing up helicopters for other activities — but the warships in a carrier strike group could be better dispersed for operational effectiveness. Right now, surface combatants receiving essential supplies from the carrier must stay within the relatively small operating radius of helicopters, which means expending extra fuel and potentially making the whole strike group less survivable against well-equipped adversaries like China.
Although modifications to the C-2A could extend its unrefueled range by several hundred miles, it can never match the reach of a V-22 which can be refueled in the air or can land on a combat logistics ship for refueling en route to remote destinations. The relevance of these capabilities to Pacific operations was demonstrated last August when two Marine V-22s flew all the way from Okinawa to Australia via Clark Air Base in the Philippines, supported in the air by fixed-wing refueling tankers. Tiltrotor technology is so versatile that some V-22 proponents have proposed using Osprey to refuel carrier-based fighters in flight.
Upgrading the C-2A for three more decades of service might be less expensive up front than purchasing V-22s, but over time the complexity and limitations of the way the carrier onboard delivery mission is accomplished today would cost the Navy more — not just in fuel and personnel costs, but in the reduced volume and velocity of logistics operations in circumstances where timing is crucial. And given the scarcity of suitable land bases for fixed-wing operations in some parts of the Pacific, the Navy might find its current approach to airborne resupply sometimes isn’t workable at all. That would be especially likely if runways ashore were destroyed by enemies in a war.
As the Marines have already discovered in their own operations, the flexibility of the Osprey enables missions that previously would not have been possible. A C-2A is basically good for one thing — flying between an aircraft carrier and land bases — but a V-22 can be used for a wide array of missions such as combat search and rescue or reconnaissance even if it was bought mainly to support logistics functions. At a time when the Navy is facing more overseas challenges with less money, it makes sense to support the fleet with aircraft that are versatile, rather than limited to a single mission. The inherent flexibility of tiltrotor technology will become increasingly appealing as America’s pivot to the Pacific progresses.
V-22 Tiltrotor Could Revolutionize Naval Logistics In The Pacific - Forbes
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 13:36
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Marine Corps to stand up crisis response unit in CENTCOM in 2015
By Gina Harkins Staff Writer
Apr. 10, 2014 - 04:58PM |




Eager Lion 13

Marines assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit board an MV-22B Osprey during an exercise at King Faisal Air Base in Jordan in June. The Marine Corps plans to stand up a crisis reponse force in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in fiscal year 2015. (Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone/Marine Corps)

The Marine Corps will form a new land-based unit in the Middle East during fiscal year 2015 that is designed to respond to crises in the region, including emergencies at embassies, sources have told Marine Corps Times.
About 1,900 Marines and sailors will form Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Central Command during fiscal year 2015. The unit will be land-based, similar to the Spain-based SPMAGTF Crisis Response, but the exact location — or locations — where they’ll be based in the Middle East is still being determined, said Lt. Col. Joe Kloppel, a spokesman with Marine Corps Forces Central Command.
“The [Marine Corps] intends to source and deploy SPMAGTF-CENT, which consists of a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and logistics combat element providing CENTCOM with a flexible, self-deploying and self-sustaining option for responding to these emergent threats,” Kloppel said.
SPMAGTF-CENT’s ground and logistics forces will be equipped to perform such missions as embassy reinforcement, security backup and humanitarian assistance, Kloppel said.
The unit will be equipped with several fixed-wing and tiltrotor aircraft, a potent combination that creates “an extremely agile crisis response force,” he said. That will, at various times, include attack aircraft like AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets, as well as support aircraft like the MV-22 Osprey and KC-130J Super Hercules, he said.
These assets provide the unit with the flexibility to conduct military-to-military engagements and security cooperation in the Middle East with partner nations, as well as expand to meet bigger requirements, Kloppel said. Staging a special purpose MAGTF in the region gives combatant commanders another option when crises arise, giving them the ability to manage different types of threats with a scalable-size force.
“While Afghanistan is winding down, there are multiple conflicts, confrontations, and situations that suggest the potential threats in the coming years will increase and yield more simultaneous or near simultaneous crisis-response situations,” he said. “... Within hours, SPMAGTF-CENT can use its organic lift assets to move elements of crisis response infantry company with fixed-wing escort to the directed location in order to conduct critical infrastructure protection, embassy reinforcement, or serve as the advance element to a larger force.”
While the details are being worked out on the basing of SPMAGTF-CENT, it’s likely the unit would be based at an existing military installation. The Marine Corps stood up a command element in Bahrain in 2011, which is built around about 150 headquarters staff personnel. The Air Force has a forward presence at an air base in the United Arab Emirates and the Army in Kuwait.
Marine Corps to stand up crisis response unit in CENTCOM in 2015 | Marine Corps Times | marinecorpstimes.com
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 17:15
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HII delivers new class amphibious assault ship to US Navy

Grace Jean, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 April 2014



About 900 US Navy sailors and marines marched onto amphibious assault ship America (LHA 6) on 10 April 2014 during a handover ceremony at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Source: US Navy

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has handed over the lead ship of a new amphibious assault ship class designed to optimise operations of the US Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors and the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.
America (LHA 6) was delivered to the US Navy (USN) on 10 April at HII's Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The America-class ships are replacing the USN's Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships. The first two ships of the class, America and Tripoli (LHA 7), have been designed without a well deck but feature an enlarged hangar and belowdeck spaces to better support aircraft maintenance. Well deck capability is expected to be restored in the third ship of the class in response to changed requirements since the inception of the America class.
The ship is expected to commission in late 2014 in San Francisco, California, and will be homeported in San Diego.
HII delivers new class amphibious assault ship to US Navy - IHS Jane's 360
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 19:14
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Well deck capability is expected to be restored in the third ship of the class in response to changed requirements since the inception of the America class.
The "Over the Horizon (OTH)" Amphibious Assault Concept that was to be based upon the Osprey, LCAC, and High Speed Amphibious Armored Vehicle has a died a very quiet death, but not before wasting Tens of Billions of Dollars in the process.
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 21:21
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So the planned addition of a well deck in the upcoming ship heralds the end of OTH?

Seems to me this indicates precisely the opposite. Or am I missing something.
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 22:41
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You are missing so much you don't even know what are not missing.

This article will begin to explain it to you.



http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2013-11
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 14:52
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Bob, the link appears to be broken.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 15:44
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See if this one works any better.

Proceedings Magazine - November 2013 Vol. 139/11/1,329 | U.S. Naval Institute
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 22:06
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Bob: which article in particular were you referring to? I did get the link to work. I read LTC Quinn's article and am not sure if that's the point of departure.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 22:14
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That is the one.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 18:52
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Why The Osprey Is The Future Of The US Military

U.S. Marines/Cpl. Christopher Q. Stone

In late 2001, I lifted off the USS Bataan in a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter toward Afghanistan as part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. I was one of the first pilots to push into Afghanistan after 9/11. The trip to the Taliban birthplace of Kandahar meant an arduous flight through the mountains, pushing the 35-year-old “Battlephrog” close to its operating limits and range. We had to make a fuel stop at a remote base in Pakistan followed by a long flight across open desert, often flying on instruments through a sandy haze.
Eight years later, I was on the first flight of the MV-22B Osprey into Afghanistan, again off of the USS Bataan. That morning we received pre-mission pep talks from the entire leadership of our command, including a prayer from the chaplain. From our senior officers’ serious demeanor at the time, one could be forgiven for thinking we were preparing for D-Day.
Fortunately, all we had to do was lazily climb several thousand feet to “The Boulevard,” the aerial highway for military aircraft transiting from the Arabian Sea to Afghanistan. A couple hours later, we were touching down on the runway at Camp Bastion. It was about as eventful as a flight from Des Moines to Minneapolis.
Since then, Ospreys have performed the lion’s share of Marine assault support in Afghanistan and other contingency operations. “Assault support” is Marine-speak for transport — taking personnel and gear where they’re needed. That often means taking passengers and supplies from one base to another. Other times, it means taking troops into the field, sometimes in close proximity to the enemy. Ospreys have participated in countless “named operations,” military jargon for significant missions in support of troops in combat.
Most recently, Marine Ospreys have taken a major role in providing long-range casualty evacuation support throughout the Marine area of operations in Afghanistan.
While casualty evacuation sounds similar to the more famous medical evacuation mission done by Army Blackhawk helicopters, call-signed “DUSTOFF,” the missions are very different. MEDEVAC aircraft are unarmed, are used exclusively for medical support, and fully equipped as such. The red crosses on the aircraft testify to their unique mission and to Geneva Convention protection, for whatever that’s worth against an enemy like the Taliban.
Casualty evacuation on the other hand — CASEVAC — is done by armed aircraft, without red crosses emblazoned on their sides. Often, a CASEVAC aircraft is simply one that just dropped Marines onto the battlefield and stays overhead, ready to pick up any wounded from the mission. Other times, a squadron might have one or two standing alert on the flight line. Marine CASEVAC aircraft usually have little specialized gear other than stretchers and the medical supplies normally carried by Navy corpsmen.
The recent drawdown of forces from Afghanistan meant the shuttering of remote forward operating bases, many of which had medical facilities, and sometimes surgical hospitals with MEDEVAC aircraft. As the number of FOBs decreased, the distance between possible points of injury and medical treatment increased.
But there’s a term used in the military — “a golden hour” — the hour that starts the moment a service member is wounded. If you can get that person to a hospital within that hour, the thinking goes, the chances of survival are substantially higher.
That’s where the unique speed and range of the Osprey comes in. The Marine Corps went outside its usual doctrine and outfitted Ospreys with advanced medical equipment and additional corpsmen, something closer to the MEDEVAC mission that the Corps traditionally rejected. Now casualties can get to medical care inside the golden hour from much greater distances.
Shifting away from an offensive mission to an overwatch mission in Afghanistan freed up an asset that perfectly fit a new role. The Osprey had already started to move into additional missions. It regularly does aerial delivery, dropping supplies via parachute. It does airborne command and control. It’s being tested as a platform for aerial refueling. The Navy is considering it as a carrier onboard delivery replacement. Every tacky concept drawing from the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey promotional materials of the 1990s is now becoming reality, albeit much later than they originally foresaw.
The Osprey opens up possible solutions to a worsening problem. With fewer machines and people going forward, the military’s answer is a “plug-and-play” strategy for existing platforms.
The Osprey isn’t the only aircraft to see this happen, just the latest and most prominent. For example, the KC-130J Hercules has picked up several additional duties, namely “Harvest HAWK” packages for surveillance and close-air support. LITENING pod-equipped AV-8B Harriers are capable surveillance platforms. The UH-1Y Huey helicopter performs close-air support, command and control, as wells some assault support.
The right aircraft plus the right mission kit is almost like owning another aircraft for the price of one.
Additionally, America’s shrinking naval presence overseas has made the Osprey even more relevant. Fewer amphibious ships and overseas bases means each one has to cover a greater area, just as Afghanistan showed on a smaller scale. The Osprey offers a growth capability that traditional rotorcraft can’t.
The Osprey still has issues, but today it’s a “low density, high demand asset,” as military bureaucratese would put it. Its flexibility, speed, and range make it well suited to the limited assets and far-flung contingencies the military faces. This aircraft, and ones like it, are going to be the future of the U.S. military, like it or not.


Why The Osprey Is The Future Of The US Military - Business Insider
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