Defense News via USAF AIM Points:
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor developed by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing will not be a competitor in the U.S. Air Force’s CSAR-X combat search-and-rescue aircraft program, company officials said Oct. 20.
“After thorough review of the revised Air Force request for proposal, it was clear that the CSAR-X program’s requirements and funding profile did not call for the advanced speed and range offered by the V-22 Osprey, and instead leaned toward capabilities found in more traditional helicopter-type aircraft,” Bob Kenney, vice president of Boeing’s V-22 joint program, said in a statement released Oct. 20.
I received an email last night wondering what I thought about the V-22 Osprey. Basically, I think it’s a fine idea that hasn’t been worth the effort and cost. When all is said and done, helicopters are going to be able to do almost everything the V-22 can at a fraction of the cost and without new prodcedures and thinking that are required for any new program.
While helicopters are inherently dangerous, no one can really argue that the V-22 is any safer. As I often do, I’d argue that we should definitely incorporate a small number of V-22s into the arsenal, if only to give them a workout in the real world and learn lessons for later generations of vehicles. If some special Osprey units are put together to take advantage of the vehicle, that would make sense. But to jump in headfirst and become too dependant upon them would be a major mistake.