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What’s the Question on V-22 Deployment?

By James T. McKenna | April 5, 2007

It’s unclear why some in the media seem uncertain where the U.S. Marine Corps will first deploy its MV-22Bs to combat. Most media reports say the Bell-Boeing tilt-rotor could be going to Iraq or Afghanistan later this year, then hint that they have the inside scoop that Iraq is the destination. Not much of a scoop, considering the past military manager, Marine Col. Bill Taylor, stated clearly when he announced plans to deploy the V-22 that the theater would be Iraq. He said that last May at the American Helicopter Society International’s Annual Forum in Phoenix. Program officials say the aircraft is ready to deploy in the September timeframe. Taylor’s successor as head of the V-22 Joint Program Office, Marine Col. Mathew Mulhern, said the Block B Osprey underwent operational testing in California and Arizona in February and March that involved 185 flight hours (120 by Block B aircraft and 65 by Block A ones) over 18 day.  "Initial results tell us that the Osprey really showed its full potential,” he told reporters at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo in Washington,  “both in terms of mission performance and reliability." Block B improvements include a ramp-mounted weapon system, retractable refueling probe, personnel hoist, and fast-rope system, mission auxiliary tanks, and reliability and maintainability upgrades.    For related news

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