Military

Rotorcraft Report: U.S. Marines Will Send MV-22s to Iraq by Ship

By Staff Writer | September 1, 2007

MILITARY/UTILITY

The U.S. Marine Corps has decided its MV-22 will go to its first combat assignment the old-fashioned way — on board a Navy ship.

Marine officials had been entertaining the idea of have 10 aircraft from Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 263 (VMM-263) self-deploy this month to Iraq’s Al Asad air base in Anbar province. As recently as late May, Marine officials said the Bell Helicopter/Boeing Ospreys would fly to Iraq on their own.

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But a number of factors argued against that, including the heavy requirement for refueling and persistent concerns about the inability of the V-22’s ice-protection systems to actually protect the aircraft.

VMM-263’s aircraft are to ship out for Iraq on the amphibious assault ships USS Wasp this month and arrive at Al Asad in October.

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