The Osprey has Landed

Well, it looks as if the Marine Corps sent over the first contingent of MV-22s to Afghanistan last week, and as we suspected, the Corps decided to fly VMM-263’s birds off the Bataan, through Pakistan and into Camp Bastion in Helmand.

In a release from Task Force Leatherneck in Helmand, the service said all ten of the squadron’s aircraft made the trip and that aviatiors, crew and maintainers from VMM 261 were en route.

Marine Corps Times picked up on this before us…(that’s OK, I’m happy to give my alma mater a shoutout)

“I am very excited to have these new birds here,” said Lt. Col. William Depue, executive officer for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced), adding that the aircraft’s increased speed and range will “cut the size of the area of operations in half.”

The Ospreys, which formed the bulk of VMM-263 (Rein) with the 22nd MEU will join Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 as part of MEB-Afghanistan’s aviation combat element, Marine Aircraft Group 40.

“Although we are not the Marines who will operate these birds here, we were happy to be a part of getting them into theater,” said Depue.

The Ospreys will be used for medium-lift assault support, transporting troops and cargo throughout the MEB’s area of operations, and will augment the other fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that have worked tirelessly since the MEB’s arrival in Afghanistan in May, flying more than 19,000 hours.

well, now the Corps is on the hook for the performance boost they’ve been bragging about. We’ll keep a close eye on the deployment and maybe even join them next year to see how they’re performing. But until then, keep scanning our coverage and don’t hesitate to provide us with feeds of your own on how this deployment goes.

— Christian

  • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ Solomon

    ???GANJGAL???

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/clowe clowe

      Solomon,

      I’m working it as best I can…have NOT forgotten…

      • http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/ solomon

        Thanks,
        I hadn’t heard or read a thing and was becoming concerned.

  • freefallingbomb

    The DshK hasn’t seen any yet.

  • Valcan

    The more airtrans there the better….Now if only we could get great britain to listen to there military and buy some more helos….

  • Nraddin

    Hopefully we will be able to see how these things really do. As much as I trust and value the opinions of many people here there is nothing like actually using a system on the job to tell you how it really works.

    I personally have high hopes for this aircraft and the capabilities it brings (And no other aircraft has) but we will have to see.

  • Name

    Next week’s follow-up article:

    The Osprey has Crash Landed

    …all crew survive though. Osprey officially declared a flying turkey. Congress doubles production and triples costs.

    Thee end.

  • Oble

    Smart move by assigning it to the British sector that way when the turkey crashes it will be 30 dead British soldiers not marines that pay.

  • r oconnor

    takes off like a helo. lands like a ROCK, will have limited use and hope none crash,,

  • Valcan

    Oble….Or it might be due to the constant need for airtrans for the brits who have very little ( good job MoD ) there being sent there. Or it could be for a host of other reasons none of which the brits have decided to share with a mr. oble.

  • Xandor

    You all are fat gut idiots! You think photo in article not Photoshop job? Helicopter in photo has roter in rong place and tail roter points up, not sideways! Ha! not even good photoshop job!

    Even Christian not really Christian! He is only photo of Christian photoshpped to look like Christian. He is just patheric mans who need fancy religion name to make him feel like big macho man.

    USA will be destroyed in Afghanistan and all fake helicopters with fake roters also crash.

    • DualityOfMan

      Are you drunk, or just stupid?

      • Jason

        he’s obviously never seen two -53s before…

        • Herb91949

          Obviously, he has never even seen one CH-53E or an Osprey.
          For him it is open mouth, insert foot.
          FOMBL!!!!!!

    • akhilleus

      Is this Borat? Dude, I loved your movie film!

    • Jay

      “Xandor says: November 10, 2009 at 2:01 am
      You all are fat gut idiots! You think photo in arti­cle not Photoshop job?”

      Dudes, can you not see sarcasm when it’s so obvious? And if that’s not his intention, then he’s an idiot savant. He’s getting the ones that believe everything’s a conspiracy and all photos are faked, and the one’s that get upset and reply to them.

      • Mike

        No one is upset, rather they are making fun of the hilariously idiotic statement by Xandor

  • wingman

    I hope the Osprey has all the bugs worked out. This craft has been riddled with snafu’s.

    • Valcan

      Seems to have most of them worked out. Though more will be found. You cant see all the problems in a new system like this. Its not just a new helicopter but something else entirely.

  • elgatoso

    I wish to know if anyone that is critisizing the Osprey actually Flew one?

    • Ted

      Or crashed one…oh no, that’s right…nobody could know anyone that crashed one because any crash landing in an Osprey is fatal…SFB!!

  • Oble

    I wonder how many Osprey supporters have watched their comrades bleed to death because all the money that was supposed to buy choppers went into a turkey that was 10 times less effective dollar for dollar.

    The fact is that the Osprey was designed for a mission that was always extremely dubious – an airborne amphibious assault. In Afghanistan it makes a very poor helicopter and an even worse transport at a price where you could have bought 6 times the number of airframes.

    After a year in Iraq there are no reports of anything that an osprey has done that couldn’t be done cheaper or better by an alternative. Having justified the whole program with “unique” capabilities the marines are loath to actually assign it one of the small number of missions where it could prove itself. And this for a “demonstration mission” where 90% of the fleet sits on the ground in the US to minimize the risks to them running into enemy fire. Apparently it’s good enough if the turkey just manages to fly it’s a roaring success.

    It doesn’t matter though, because the major design criteria was to provide some new imaginary capability so that the marines could justify their existence.

    It’s touching that the supporters think that everything can be solved by throwing more money at the problem, but once all the glitches are worked out (at taxpayer expense – you can just hear the contractors pissing themselves laughing) the aircraft will still be more fragile, and several times more expensive then the alternatives with a fraction of the capabilities actually needed.

    On the other hand for Hollywood films, landing at iwo jima and pandering to the people that keep used car salesmen in a livelyhood it’s a fine aircraft.

  • Valcan

    Ahh the always possitive oble.

    Anyways how do you know 90% sits on the ground from what ive seen they keep pretty buisy. Are there still problems of course there are theres going to be its an entirely new animal from helicopter or plane.

    Which has been said for what? Like 5 years now?

    I’ve heard alot of crap about the osprey and crashes. Well why arent you foaming at the mouth at the black hawk? What man they have been crashing everywhere. So obviously there worthless.

    As for the marines justifying there existence? That is something they have never failed at showing. Ussually by out doing the army in places it should excell.

  • alan

    how are the harrier jets doing there

  • jama2468

    After 20 years or so of tracking and working out the bugs with this system in development. I hope it is combat ready!!!!

  • Ed!

    I wonder how you say “Where the hell did they come from?” in pashtun. Time for the flying dump truck to get to work. Freefallingbomb? A DsHK? Are you kidding me? Yeah just bring in that big gun to the battlefield, the AH-1s will be waiting for you on the battlefield to light you up. These birds will not be flying in alone, even the 46s and 53s don’t come in without top cover of some sort. These will just get there faster and from farther out.

    • freefallingbomb

      To the poster “Ed?” :

      You wrote: “A DsHK? Are you kidding me? Yeah just bring in that big gun to the battlefield, the AH-1s will be waiting for you on the battlefield to light you up.”

      I certainly will !!!
      After downing ONE IN EVERY FOUR AH-1’s ever built by Bell over the Vietnamese jungle, my DshK deserves to taste a bit of (well cooked…) osprey meat for a change!

  • JaDAM

    Who is this Xandor idiot anyway? LOL. Photoshop my tush to look less like your face.
    Oble is an “armchair pilot” who is only internet educated. LOL.
    On another note, you are spot on “Ed!”.

  • Xandor

    Thanks, Jay. At least somebody got it.

  • Roger

    So the Corps has bought 156 MV-22s through FY2009, and another 30 were funded for FY2010 which began Oct. 1. So where are they in this war?

    Ten finally arrived in Afghanistan, none are in Iraq, none are deployed aboard ship and none are forward deployed in Hawaii, Japan, or anywhere else.

    The Corps new FY2010 aviation plan (which is on the net) claims only 82 are in service. Where are the others?

    • elgatoso

      Do you know the sentence “need to know”

    • Mike

      Um.. They have been in Iraq

  • Oble

    >want to know why we have opsrey’s over there? take a look at the 53E in the foreground. yep, probably getting more hydraulic fluid put in her. those things don’t fly right unless they leak hydraulic fluid. and they crash when they stop leaking.

    So they hoping that some of the 53E’s reliability will rub off onto the V-22 ?

    Not only is the new osprey two and a half times less reliable then the old clunking 53Es but the marines now can’t get rid of the 53Es because the osprey isn’t up to making air assaults when somebody might be shooting at them.

    In Iraq when given a choice, commanders preferred to use 53Es instead of Ospreys for anything that looked like an assault mission. The let the osprey do the milk runs and limo jobs.

    >So the Corps has bought 156 MV-22s through FY2009, and another 30 were funded for FY2010 which began Oct. 1. So where are they in this war?

    Sitting in hangers being cannibalized to keep the 10 ‘deployable’ aircraft the marines have going ? 3 squadrons deployed to Iraq but it was a shell game - they all used the same 10 aircraft.

    The marines full mission capability requirement was 85% - in Iraq they achieved 6% and falling until they quickly scrapped the measure as unrealistic.

    Nevertheless the V-22 remains the favorite of 14 yro dumb-asses who don’t realize that the aircraft cant fly higher and faster and longer when all the escorts have one third the range at half the speed.

  • Valcan

    Oble how old are the 53’s…..theres why they are reliable. With length of service the more reliable they will become just take time to make them so. How many of the things you think work fine and are so reliable used to have the same things said about them?

  • Valcan

    And btw Oble where did you get this info……and dont tell me wikipedia.

  • Smith

    The osprey is a dangerousand expensive piece of junk. The Corps needs a helo to replace the CH-46, not this thing. For what the Corps is paying for one osprey, they could buy a couple of good helos.

  • RF105Thunderchief

    I think these birds will be another good “resource” for these brave American warriors can do well their work,and with a less cost for their lives.
    Sometimes it still is difficult to hear people with “narrow minds” saying these conflicts have only to do with the interest on the petroleum.
    Don´t they remaind the coward attack of the 9/11?.In times of the Cold War “the conflict” was framed in a Geo/Political context.Now,in the new century,it´s presented like “Social/Cultural”.
    I respect all Cultures and its Religions.But to the extremist fundamentalists/terrorist (that don´t represent any religious) and try to delete the Identity of the Countries by cowardly attacking to their representative
    “symbols” of its Nation/Culture,it´s necessary to fight them:and this is a war that involves to all the Countries that have chosen the Freedom and the Democracy as its way of life.

  • Oble

    >Oble how old are the 53’s…..theres why they are reliable.

    You need to coordinate better with the other fan-boys, make up your mind whether the 53s are reliable or not.

    T

  • Jimbo

    “The more airtrans there the better….Now if only we could get great britain to listen to there military and buy some more helos….”

    Fat chance of that happening with the anti military Labour government in power.

  • Jimbo

    “The marines full mission capability requirement was 85% - in Iraq they achieved 6% and falling until they quickly scrapped the measure as unrealistic.”

    Links to sources please as that sounds like BS of the highest order…

  • Valcan

    They are reliable so is a M1. But time has passed them by. Also the age of the airframes comes into play.

  • Jimbo

    Thats cool then, you produced the proof sono argument.
    Now, what are these mysterious ‘Osprey hatchlings’ you’re rambling on about, what does that have to do with me and when have I mentioned them previous to this post?

    • freefallingbomb

      Just put the Osprey in front of my DshK and be done with it.

  • Valcan

    No offense bomb but considering 50cal machineguns can be used against armored vehicles what helicopter in the world is gonna sit there and be hit?

    And just wondering is there no way to make a titltrotor VTOL?

    Of failing that just upgrade the cobra or apache design to work with the new rotor system so they can act as escort aircraft?

    Or hell just turn a few into mini AC130’s?

  • freefallingbomb

    To the poster “Valcan” :

    You wrote: “Of failing that just upgrade the cobra or apache design to work with the new rotor system so they can act as escort aircraft?”

    Sorry if I don’t understand your English plainly, but here’s my question anyway: Why can’t Ospreys defend themselves minimally? Why can’t they be made slightly more survivable? It’s 2009 ! Alternatively: Why oh why can’t they be used in “attack helicopter” mode, being that fast ?! ( NOT EVEN as a submarine hunters or Coast Guard / sea rescue aircraft?!) Read your own phrase / post: A technologically futuristic means of air transport CONSTANTLY needs HALF AS FAST , 34 years old Apaches and 44 years old Cobras to survive, even in such an undeniable low-intensity conflict, and this is even its ONLY VERSION , in this era of flexible, multi-rôle, convertible, up-gradable, modular etc. aircraft, ships and vehicles???!

    What IDIOT in the Pentagon ordered such a flying aberration?
    But then again: What OTHER idiot on Earth would EVER have ordered it?
    Subtle hint: Expected foreign sales = 0

    • Ed!

      FFB, do you get your facts off of cereal boxes? Note this about other transport aircraft, both rotary and fixed wing. The C-130, unless it is the AC-130 variant is unarmed. Same goes to the C-27, C-17, and C-5. The UH-1, only armed with door guns in transport role and must be escorted by gunships. CH-46, only armed with a rear door gun and 2 side guns. Still will be escorted into a combat LZ. Same goes for the CH-47, and the CH-53. As for your speed argument, the CH-47 is faster than the AH-64s sent to escort them into the combat zone.

    • Ed!

      You speak of multi-role aircraft, vehicles, and ships. Lets see the modular ship you speak of is the LCS, not operational. Multi-role Aircraft, F-16, started as an Air Superiority fighter later moved to strike aircraft. F-15, not until Desert Storm was it made to be ground attack and that was the F-15E version. F-22, no ground attack role made yet. Multi-role vehicles, M1 and all versions, its all Tank. Bradley, mainly IFV and the Air Defense version, the linebacker, is being phased out by the Primarily Air Defense Avenger. The only real vehicle in the military right now that is truly multirole is the HMMWV and it was designed to be multirole.

      You also keep mentioning your DshK. Yeah keep manning that old 12.7mm, just wait for the door gunner for the Osprey to fire the Good Ole Ma Deuce at you. In an era of flexible, modular, upgradeable weapons, nothing sends a better message than an almost century old design still pounding the enemy.

  • Cole

    FFB, although I’m not a huge MV-22 fan due to cost and payload at a hot/high altitude hover, there are advantages in speed and range that can be valuable in southern Afghanistan.

    You don’t seem to understand that the MV-22 is completely safe en route at high altitude (at least in this conflict, and in the south) and that Cobras/Hueys/53E/K can simply leave earlier to arrive just before Osprey landing.

  • freefallingbomb

    Part I :

    To the poster “Cole” :

    You wrote: “…although I’m not a huge MV-22 fan due to cost and payload at a hot/high altitude hover, there are advantages in speed and range that can be valuable in southern Afghanistan.”

    Oh, did they already take off from their safe, comfy hangars ( = the very “full mission capability” you’re addressing here) ?

    Excerpt from a really very old, yellowed and dusty children book I had about planes, in general:

    “(Chapter: ) Keeping Aircraft Flying
    (First phrase: ) Airliners are only earning their keep when they are flying, and military aircraft are only useful if they can go into action the moment they are needed.”

    I can offer this book to the Pentagon, if you want…

    (Continued)

  • freefallingbomb

    Part II :

    You wrote: “Cobras/Hueys/53E/K can simply leave earlier to arrive just before Osprey landing.”

    Even so, you forgot their (other…) collective Achilles Heel: Inferior range! (I forgot to mention it in my previous posts, too)

    Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey: 4.476 km ferry range, 1.627 km range, 690 km combat radius
    Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion: 1.000 km range
    Bell AH-1 Cobra: 574 km range
    Bell UH-1D Iroquois: 510 km range

    Basically, every time you order these decades-old helicopters to protect the 68-million-$-a-piece Ospreys from the Talibans’ rusting World War I – II guns (like Lee-Enfields, DshK’s and AK-47’s), you’re asking a toddler to escort a marathon runner.
    Either you make a COMPLETE generational jump in equipment, or you’re forever stuck in the previous generation.
    Another, comparable situation: Try once to make all conventionally engined escort ships and cargo ships keep up with the nuclear powered aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines, both in terms of speed and range!

    • Cole

      Except that MV-22 and helicopters rarely fly long ranges. The distance from Kandahar to Helmand province is less than 150 kms each way. Now the occasional trip to Farah province or up to Bagram from Kandahar is where the MV-22 will shine. But the Army can park UH-60s and AH-64D at smaller bases closer to the fight to compensate for any speed differential.

      But please don’t try to hover to land a load of Marines at 8,000′. I understand the Marines gave up one such base in Helmand province at that altitude. Could it be because MV-22 could not support it?

  • DualityOfMan

    Isn’t the Osprey’s M2 fired out of the loading ramp? That’s not going to do much against AA fire coming from the front or sides, which is most likely.

    The fact is that large helicopters (and the Osprey, which is essentially equivalent) are very vulnerable in combat landings (going back to the Battle of Ap Bac in 1963). It doesn’t matter how fast the Osprey can go, it lands in a hover like any other helicopter, and hence lands at 0 mph.

    Forget the DshK, one MANPADS makes for an easy helicopter (or Osprey) kill from well outside the range of any door gun. Transport helos must be covered by attack helos for combat landings.

    The Osprey would not make a good attack “helicopter.” It’s fast, but I’m sure the maneuverability is far inferior to the smaller Cobra and Apache. I don’t think any pilot would want to go hiding behind trees attack helicopter style in something the size of an Osprey.

  • freefallingbomb

    To the poster “DualityOfMan” :

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Part I :

    You wrote: “Isn’t the Osprey’s M2 fired out of the loading ramp?”

    Yup, and only backwards. This way you get a chance to fire back at the enemies AFTER everybody else took a jab at you, from all sides! IF you’re still flying horizontally then…

    Even a single internal, forward-facing Gatling gun or a rocket pod makes more (any!) sense than that brain-dead M2 !

    (Continued)

  • freefallingbomb

    Part II :

    You wrote: “The fact is that large helicopters (and the Osprey, which is essentially equivalent) are very vulnerable in combat landings (going back to the Battle of Ap Bac in 1963). It doesn’t matter how fast the Osprey can go, it lands in a hover like any other helicopter, and hence lands at 0 mph.”

    That’s absolutely true. And fatal.
    But it applies only to low-intensity conflicts, like now.
    MODERN armed forces however would even PREFER the Ospreys to fly as fast and high as they can, to lighten up their radar screens until some nasty surprise strikes them from behind, and well above their Doppler radars’ treshold ( = minimum) speed too, below which they are blind to moving objects (not to be saturated with birds, balloons, swinging tree-tops, etc.) !

    (Continued)

  • freefallingbomb

    Part III :

    You wrote: “The Osprey would not make a good attack ‘helicopter’. It’s fast, but I’m sure the maneuverability is far inferior to the smaller Cobra and Apache.”

    Some time ago you U.S. Americans built helicopter models (the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw, the Bell UH-1 Iroquois and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk) with whom you could execute practically all different tasks of large airborne operations alone, and even other ones on top of that, except maybe in-flight refuelling and heavy airlift, by just creating different versions of the same basic airframes.
    If you thought that a new era has dawned, when you dreamt up the Osprey, then you should
    1) either have made it more versatile, multi-rôle (a “wool-milk-sow”), to cater to the spirit of times
    or
    2) have complemented the single-purpose (euphemism: “Specialist”) Osprey with SEVERAL OTHER NEW helicopters, V.T.O.L. planes and tiltrotors etc., all new aircraft types having the same superior performances, not to be stuck forever in the 60’s during air assaults, like you are now.

    (Continued)

  • freefallingbomb

    Part IV :

    But you don’t even have a fast COIN plane to escort / keep pace with the Ospreys at their natural speed! That’s not true progress, that’s mental chaos, or worse. Thanks to the Osprey, you don’t have a strong chain with a weak link now: You have a weak chain with one strong link. Smile!

    By buying expensive, dysfunctional and perfectly incompatible eccentricities at the behest of fat, greasy, panting, squint-eyed lobbyists, one can clearly perceive the absence of any technically-minded, coherent, integral, long-term weapons acquisition plan for the continuous and synchronous modernization of your Armed Forces, a wrong priority like putting carts in front of oxen!

  • Ed!

    Hey FFB, Did you know that the can opener was designed after the metal can was created? You know what that means to your argument of not having a fast enough craft to escort the Osprey at their cruising speed is a moot point.

    Did you know the UH-1s didn’t have an escort until they created the Gunship version and then finally the AH-1?
    Did you know the B-17, B-24, and every other bomber we had in the European theater had no escort that could go the distance with them until the P-51 was given a new engine and drop tanks? See how flawed your argument is?

    I swear you love to cherry pick your best arguments and throw them into some incoherent rant.

    • DualityOfMan

      But the B-17s were slaughtered before the escorts were introduced.

  • freefallingbomb

    To the poster “Ed!” :

    You wrote: “Did you know the UH-1s didn’t have an escort until they created the Gunship version and then finally the AH-1? Did you know the B-17, B-24, and every other bomber we had in the European theater had no escort that could go the distance with them until the P-51 was given a new engine and drop tanks? See how flawed your argument is?”

    MY point is moot? You just said yourself that in all these cases the U.S. Airforce was hard pressed to develop escorts for their new, fast bombers and troop-carrying helicopters (at least they turned the bombers into flying fortresses until escorts were at hand), something that’s obviously NOT happening now, not even 26 ( 2 6 ! ) years after the Osprey was first developed, and not expected in the foreseeable future either, and “I’m” the one with the flawed argument? I know what’s your problem: You had something interesting to say, for a change, but you think that in order to shine better you have to make it look as if I was wrong. Basically, you’re a herd animal, a vegetarian, anyone’s puppet. Keep grazing.

  • Ed!

    And you aren’t a puppet? You sound like the rest of the folks in here slamming the Osprey, but I’m the one that is following the herd. Ok, whatever you say.

  • freefallingbomb

    To the poster “Ed!” :

    You wrote: “And you aren’t a puppet? You sound like the rest of the folks in here slamming the Osprey, but I’m the one that is following the herd.”

    Watching the Osprey “in action” is like watching somebody stumbling down 24 times the stairs: I’m surprised you even reached a different conclusion!

  • tex

    I've heard that the v-22 Osprey costs over $10 mil. How can they afford that much for an airplane with so little lift capability?