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Thread: Osprey collection (merged thread)

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    Council Member Ironhorse's Avatar
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    Default Osprey collection (merged thread)

    I am re-reading Blackhawk Down at the moment -- picked it up from a pile of books as I was getting on my last flight. There are many pages of praise for the Blackhawk's ability to take hits and still keep going.

    Any comments from anyone in the know regarding the Osprey, its ability to take a licking and keep on ticking, and extrapolations into its suitability for small wars / COIN rather than STOM and its target conops?

    I know it has been a fickle beast in development, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will have a glass jaw once it is fielded. Also am semi-familiar with the Osprey-bashing that has gone on in the past regarding a variety of issues. But its ruggedness under fire is one area that I have no intel.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    I, for one, haven't seen much in the way of commentary about this. But it is worth remembering that the much-praised Blackhawk was originally nicknamed the Crashhawk due to many developmental problems. The Apache, which was supposed to be highly survivable, has also turned out to be something more and something less than promised. We may not "really" know how the Osprey does until it comes under actual fire in an actual combat zone. At one time the UH-1 was even deemed too fragile to survive ground fire.

    Much of it may also end up boiling down to doctrine. The USMC sees the Osprey as a medium lift vehicle, which means it may not end up in the same sort of situations that the UH-60 does. The AF, on the other hand, is looking at the Osprey as a SAR platform, which means it will possibly come under much heavier fire than the UH-60.

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    Council Member 979797's Avatar
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    I guess we'll find out soon. I have heard that the first operational Osprey squadron will be heading with an ACE to the box sometime next year.

    While the Marines may envision it as a medium transport, you still need to assume that it would be used as a vehicle to take troops directly in and out of the battlespace. Look at the Army Chinhooks in Afghanistan. The Blackhawks there lack the capability to operate at the higher altitudes, leaving tactical air transport to the CH-47 which, while powerful, is also very big and very slow. We've lost more than a few already to hostile fire.

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    It seems to me that the Osprey would be the ideal insertion aircraft for parachute raiding operations, since the same aircraft can serve for insertion and extraction. That's if the bugs can be worked out and it turns out to be a safe aircraft.

    In the Ranger raid on Kandahar the assault element parachuted in from C-130s later to be extracted by helicopters. With something like the Osprey the same aircraft can parachute a raiding force, circle on station, then land to extract them after the objectives are seized and the drop zone is secure. An improved runway isn't required either.

    That's one way to solve the problem of landing it in a hot LZ to offload troops.

    Of course, a wider usage of parachute insertion isn't the answer to everything.....but it might be the answer to some things.
    Last edited by Rifleman; 02-03-2007 at 08:48 PM.

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    Council Member Dr Jack's Avatar
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    Default Marines to Deploy V-22 Osprey to Iraq

    Story from this morning's NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/bu...l?ref=business

    The Marine Corps said yesterday that the V-22 Osprey, a hybrid aircraft with a troubled past, will be sent to Iraq this September, where it will see combat for the first time.

    The Pentagon has placed so many restrictions on how it can be used in combat that the plane — which is able to drop troops into battle like a helicopter and then speed away from danger like an airplane — could have difficulty fulfilling the Marines’ longstanding mission for it.

    In Iraq, the V-22 will begin to replace the Vietnam-era helicopters that are increasingly facing enemy fire. The limitations on the V-22, which cost $80 million apiece, mean it cannot evade enemy fire with the same maneuvers and sharp turns used by helicopter pilots.

    As a result, the craft could be more vulnerable to attack, and may result in the Marines keeping it out of the thick of battle, using it instead for less dangerous tasks.

    “They will plan their missions in Iraq to avoid it getting into areas where there are serious threats,” said Thomas Christie, the Pentagon’s director of operations, test and evaluation from 2001 to 2005, who is now retired. The V-22’s debut in combat ends a remarkable 25-year struggle for the Marines to build a craft they could call their own.

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    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Default Switch MV-22 to the Army

    I'm wondering if the MV-22 would do better as a delivery platform for airborne and air assault forces then its role as medium lift "helicopter"? Its speed and range are a plus. Could this aircraft follow-up C-130s and provide an air assault element for the paratroopers on the ground - enhanced maneuverability? Would Airborne-Air Assault BCTs (MacGregor's design) with MV-22 aircraft be practical?

    The things are cool, but for what the Corps needs I would think they would be better of with their own CH-47s and UH60s.

    Thoughts please.

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    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Despite being airborne, I am not a huge proponent of airborne ops. I believe that advances in airmobile technology like the helicopter and the Osprey have made the concept largely obsolete (Somewhere on Ardennes Ave. a CSM just developed an angry facial tic although he is not sure why ). The chaos and disorganization of an airborne op are just not conducive to successful combat operations. There are few, if any, places where you can execute an airborne operation that you could not land rotary wing aircraft or Ospreys. Given that, it doesn't make a great deal of sense to conduct airborne operations.

    SFC W

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    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    I see your point, but what about an operation that would require moving a large number of infantry (IBCT) over a long distance, greater then the combat range of the Osprey (450 miles)? I'm talking about a distance that would require C-130 transport of paratroopers and follow-up by a platform such as the Osprey, which has a ferry range of 2,000 miles, to enable the paratroopers to air assault further objectives - am I reinventing the wheel? I've read that the 101st is more like a heavy division when it deploys with all its helicopters.

    Example - moving 173rd BCT to Iraq in C-130s, jump in, empty MV-22 with air refueling capabilty follow-up drop enable to air assault toward Baghdad. Practical? Smart? feasible?

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    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gute View Post
    I see your point, but what about an operation that would require moving a large number of infantry (IBCT) over a long distance, greater then the combat range of the Osprey (450 miles)? I'm talking about a distance that would require C-130 transport of paratroopers and follow-up by a platform such as the Osprey, which has a ferry range of 2,000 miles, to enable the paratroopers to air assault further objectives - am I reinventing the wheel? I've read that the 101st is more like a heavy division when it deploys with all its helicopters.

    Example - moving 173rd BCT to Iraq in C-130s, jump in, empty MV-22 with air refueling capabilty follow-up drop enable to air assault toward Baghdad. Practical? Smart? feasible?
    In my opinion, on the modern battlefield, dropping light infantry that far from support is probably not a good idea. In WWII the nature of the communications that were available to the defenders slowed and desynchronized the defender's response to the airborne operations. Furthermore, with the weapons that were available in WWII, light infantry was quite a bit more survivable on the battlefield than today. I am thinking that advances in modern communications and weaponry greatly reduce the chances of a successful airborne operation. That said, your example, a limited drop for an airfield seizure followed by the air landing of heavier weapons and equipment is certainly feasible and practical. Smart depends on the METT-TC, of course.

    Keep in mind, I am referring to the worst case scenario, major combat operations against a peer-competitor nation here. If we are talking about a conventional fight against a much less capable nation then all bets are off.

    SFC W

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. Nope, he knows why. Because he's heard that before, many times

    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    ...a CSM just developed an angry facial tic although he is not sure why ).
    and knows he will hear it many more before someone solves the range problem for your alternatives.
    The chaos and disorganization of an airborne op are just not conducive to successful combat operations.
    Disagree -- degree of training is important. We don't do that nearly as well as we could or should; the training system you've been under for 18 plus year is an impediment, not an aid, to training. That we're as good as we are is a tribute to many like you who overcame a bad process. Good training can slice through the disorganization bit easily.

    The real issue is what you want done. Airborne operations are not suitable for many things (linkups over 24 hours being one) and an airmobile op is better if range and conditions permit, no question. However, there are some things they can do as well or better than most other methods -- including really noisy hoptiflopters. Chaos is part of all war, disorganization leads to LGOP tooling about doing their thing. Airborne Ops are just like SF Ops -- do it right and good things can happen; do it wrong and it can make things worse. Come to think of it, that sort of describes combat in general...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    The chaos and disorganization of an airborne op are just not conducive to successful combat operations.
    Haven't chaos and disorganization worked to the advantage of the parachuting force just as often as not?
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    I am thinking that advances in modern communications and weaponry greatly reduce the chances of a successful airborne operation.
    It seems to me that you have a point.....up to a point. But given the advances in modern communications and weaponry is not the likelyhood of a successful helicopter assault reduced by just as much?

    What's more dangerous: SAMs being fired at fixed wing while dropping or RPGs being fired at rotor wing while off-loading?
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Default Is there a case for Tilt-Rotor

    I'm not a fan of CV-22.

    Why is laid out quite well here.

    The carrier based SV-22 sub-hunter-killer may have had merit, but I just cannot make sense of the machine as it exists today.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Default V-22 Osprey is flying on tenterhooks

    In an era when the US administration wants to reduce expenditure there are several major tactical aviation projects that could become large targets. One of those projects is the V-22 Osprey tilt-prop utility transport. Although the V-22 can fly fast and high – there are several alternatives in the form of slower and lower flying helicopters that are more flexible, rugged and less costly to procure and operate.

    It is unlikely that US forces will receive anything like the 550-odd Ospreys that were envisaged a decade ago. So the V-22 – and especially the MV-22B of which the USMC was expected to receive some 450 aircraft - is " flying on tenterhooks ", or as some people prefer " flying on tenderhooks ".

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    Default USMC aviation

    This is a bigger problem than most realize. The Corps agreed to a USN plan to build LHA-6 and LHA-7 without well-decks. In the absence of lift - whether MV-22 or whatever replaces the CH-53 (which is not fully funded yet), those ships become less and less relevant as amphib assault ships, and devolve into small aircraft carriers....assuming that the F-35B isnt killed as a program.

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    Default any cutback will involve the MV-22B rather than the F-35B

    Quote Originally Posted by Strickland View Post
    ....assuming that the F-35B isnt killed as a program.
    The F-35B may prove to be a mistake but it won't be killed as a program. The F-35 Lightning II JSF was designed with a bulky high-drag fuselage in order to make space behind the cockpit for a vertically-mounted turbo-fan, air intake and exhaust plus door panels needed to meet the USMC requirement for STOVL capabilities. And the complications and compromises stemming from that decision have affected the eventual fighters’ performance and the overall JSF schedule and costs.

    However, the USMC has not joined the USN in ordering the F/A-18E Super Hornet - and possibly also the F/A-18F twin seater – to succeed its obsolescing F/A-18C Hornet multi-role fighter. The USMC has instead staked the future of its fixed wing fighter force entirely on the F-35B to replace both the Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier VSTOL fighter.

    A further reason for continued development of the F-35B is that its termination would prejudice arguments for multi-service rationalization and procurement, and leave both the Pentagon and the USMC with proverbial ‘egg all over the place’. So the F-35B will continue as part of a remorseless JSF project. Any reduction in expenditure on USMC aviation will have to come from somewhere else.

    Cutting back the heavyweight CH-53K project is unlikely because its use as a flying crane is valuable and in the medium term almost irreplaceable, except by US Army CH-47 Chinooks. At the lightweight end the USMC has the UH-1Y Venom utility and AH-1W Viper gunship helicopter projects as upgrades of the Twin Huey and Huey Cobra. Both of those types are indispensable although the Venom might be supplemented by a batch of MH-60S Seahawks already in service with the USN.

    That leaves in the middle the MV-22B Osprey. And it is often on the ground waiting for spares, repair of hydraulics or an uncomplicated mission and a tightly controlled flight plan.

    Within USMC aviation the prime and probably the only realistic target for a sizeable cutback is the MV-22B.

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    I see no real reason for why USMC fixed wing aviation should exist at all.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Simple...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I see no real reason for why USMC fixed wing aviation should exist at all.
    To show the Air force how to fly CAS.

    Seriously, because it can and due to a difference in traditions. In the US, all services own and control most of their own aircraft. Think of it as a Federal system as opposed to a centralized state. It is mildly inefficient, it is not at all ineffective.
    Last edited by Ken White; 01-31-2012 at 10:34 PM.

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    Default errata

    – to succeed its obsolescing F/A-18C Hornet multi-role fighter.
    Omitted mention of the F/-18D twin-seater which USMC employs for observation and FAC as part of its close air support.

    A twin-seat version of the F-35 has been proposed for training and operations, but is apparently not yet in full-scale development within the F-35A CTOL or F-35B STOVL projects. Perhaps the USMC has been looking ahead and scheming an A-10 type STOL project (including a twin-seater) specifically designed for CAS ?

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Unlikely, it phased out the good and recently modernised OV-10Ds around '93.

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