Saturday, April 14, 2007

Commandant Conway: Marines will deploy Osprey to Iraq in September

The Pentagon has ordered 458 of the $70 million craft, most of which will go the Marines Corps, although those destined for the Air Force will cost $89 million each because of enhanced electronic combat features

After more than 20 years in development at a cost of billions of dollars, the long-troubled V-22 Osprey will head to Iraq in September for its first combat missions, the Marine Corps said yesterday.

The tilt-rotor Osprey, a helicopter-airplane hybrid, has survived attempts by the Pentagon leadership to cancel it, criticism of its rising cost and unique design, and three fatal accidents since 1992. The aircraft, made by Bell Helicopter and Boeing, can take off, land and hover like a helicopter, then turn its rotors to fly straight ahead like a conventional plane. It will operate out of al-Asad air base in central Iraq for seven months.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

Related Link:
U.S. to fly controversial Osprey in combat