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Equipment & Capabilities Relevant capabilities and equipment are table stakes for winning those hearts and minds.

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Old 01-29-2012   #1
Compost
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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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Old 01-29-2012   #2
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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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Old 01-31-2012   #3
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Default any cutback will involve the MV-22B rather than the F-35B

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....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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Old 01-31-2012   #4
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I see no real reason for why USMC fixed wing aviation should exist at all.
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Old 01-31-2012   #5
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Default Simple...

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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 09:34 PM.
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Old 01-31-2012   #6
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Default errata

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– 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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Old 02-01-2012   #7
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Unlikely, it phased out the good and recently modernised OV-10Ds around '93.
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Old 02-08-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
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.
I still wish the Air Farce would have given the A10 to the Marines. It is still the finest CAS fixed wing air craft available IMHO.

The F35 is on a short leash.

This blog post got a bunch of hits from the NCR http://selil.com/archives/2689

This is the article that I based my blog post on http://armedforcesjournal.com/2011/09/7558132/

There most assuredly are better acquisition and weapons requirements strategies than what we're doing now.
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Old 02-08-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selil View Post
I still wish the Air Farce would have given the A10 to the Marines. It is still the finest CAS fixed wing air craft available IMHO.
True dat...
Quote:
This blog post got a bunch of hits from the NCR http://selil.com/archives/2689. . .There most assuredly are better acquisition and weapons requirements strategies than what we're doing now.
True dat as well -- that's a good Post at the link! Works for me...

At the risk of being the resident curmudgeonly cynic, I have to warn you: I think the NCR visitors to the Post may be Congressional Staffers drawn to see such money saving and common sense heresy and who are likely determined to stop you before you annoy the Major Defense Contractors and affect jobs in their Bosses districts...

Though hopefully, the visitors would be folks who see the wisdom of the idea and push it into adoption...
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Old 04-20-2012   #10
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Default MV-22B and CH-53K

Defense Industry Daily has issued an updated report on USMC efforts to ‘deconflict' and 'progress’ the CH-53K and MV-22B projects. Report is at

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...-updated-01724

Added by Moderator at author's request (3hrs ago):The update of DID's report on the CH-53K was released in public domain. That was later changed to subscriber only. Advice from DID is that there was some technical problem, also that the update will not be re-released as public.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-23-2012 at 09:28 AM. Reason: 3rd paragraph added
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Old 04-21-2012   #11
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Default Relentless is the new normal.

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Originally Posted by Compost View Post
Defense Industry Daily has issued an updated report on USMC efforts to ‘deconflict' and 'progress’ the CH-53K and MV-22B projects. Report is at

www.defenseindustrydaily.com/ch53k-the-us-marines-hlr-helicopter-program-updated-01724
From the link above:

Quote:
But the helicopters are wearing out. Fast. The pace demanded by the Global War on Terror is relentless, and usage rates are 3 times normal.
I think it might be better said that usage rates are 3 times projected.
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Old 04-23-2012   #12
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Default de-conflicting without progress

Text moved to Post 10

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-23-2012 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Text moved to Post 10
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Old 05-08-2012   #13
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Default intemittent access

Another update of DID's 'CH-53K: The U.S. Marines' HLR Helicopter'... is again publicly available (briefly ?) at

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...-updated-01724
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Old 11-07-2012   #14
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Default the saga continues

DID has published a free updated report on the V-22 Osprey at: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...Program-04823/

Its ‘Contracts and Key Events’ section refers to fallout from the April 2010 crash of a V-22 in Afghanistan, at:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012...d-general/all/

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-07-2012 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Date changed at author's request
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Old 11-12-2013   #15
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Default IAF and the V-22 Osprey

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The USA has agreed to sell six Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor aircraft to Israel, but US officials do not say which version of the aircraft Israel will receive.
See http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...rotors-392483/

In my opinion Israeli procurement of the precariously arranged V-22 Osprey is foolish. However, Israel receives about $US2 billion in military assistance from the USA each year. So the V-22s will come cheap although operating them is likely to prove costly.

Any force that paid real dollars for V-22s would seem doubly foolish, or simply stupid.
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