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Old May 14, 2002, 03:49 PM   #51
Bruegger
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I'm going to have to throw in with my fellow teufelhund STRLN here. The point of STOM is to bypass the enemy’s strongpoints (i.e., beach defenses facing out towards the beach). This is a basic principal of maneuver – as opposed to attritional – warfare. Review your FMFM 1-1.

I don’t know enough about the Osprey to know if it will ever be worth a darn, and I've never understood why we couldn’t get some Blackhawks, but that doesn’t mean the Corps shouldn’t try to develop a better mousetrap. They made fun of the Corps when we were developing amphibious warfare in the ‘30s, but it turned out to be visionary.

quote:
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… There was some testing done with MK19 Grenade lauchers mounted in the 53s and 46s a few years back. They just don't have enough range. … The M2 can reach out there effectively. The MK19 can go out to 1000 and beyond easily, but it just isn't as effective from a rapidly moving platform. …
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I doubt the _range_ is the problem with the Mk19 vs the M2. The Mk19 has a max effective range of 1500m and the Ma Deuce has a max effective range of 1830m, at least when HMMWV- or tripod-mounted, though I don’t know how well that translates to aircraft mounting. The difficulty in using it from moving aircraft, I'd suspect is due to the different time in “flight” of the two rounds: it is _significantly_ longer for the 40 mike-mike vs the .50.

Torquemada – I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think the _greatest strength_ of the U.S. military is the division into branches, each with a specific mission. In a decentralized structure like this, each branch can develop doctrines and weapons/transport systems to fit its own particular mission and can learn from the other. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough; each branch should be unlimited (except by its budget) as to which types of gear/vehicles/aircraft it buys. If the Army ever wants to get decent fixed-wing CAS, for example, it needs to get its own fast-movers, because it’s a low priority to the Zoomies.

Semper fi,
Bruegger out
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Old May 14, 2002, 04:01 PM   #52
George Hill
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"...that doesn’t mean the Corps shouldn’t try to develop a better mousetrap."

If you Jarheads think the V-22 is a better mousetrap...
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Old May 14, 2002, 04:07 PM   #53
Bruegger
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Well, you didn'd read what I said too carefully.

I didn't say its current implementation IS the better mousetrap, but I think the IDEA - a longer-ranging, faster airframe with greater carrying capacity - is.

S/F
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Old May 14, 2002, 04:08 PM   #54
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I'd suspect is due to the different time in “flight” of the two rounds
You're exactly right. The gun mounts don't have enough travel built into them to lead far enough to compensate for the time in flight. It's kinda like pitching bottles out the window of a moving car at road signs.

Quote:
Yes exactly right, on paper its capability are there.
Touche. However, the 360 is not a radically different airframe like the Osprey. It's experimental, sure...but it's not a project started from scratch. My point is, the Corps had the opportunity to develop it, and they turned down a tandem rotor powerhouse built on a wealth of knowledge of tandem rotor design, for a design that is no more proven than Dr. Brainard's Flubber.

Did I mention that it met or exceeded the requirements outlined by the Marine Corps? Dollars to doughnuts, if the 360 was a Bell design, or at least a joint venture with Bell...they'd have been all over it. The DoD has been in bed with Bell since the 60s, and they ain't usin' protection.
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Old May 15, 2002, 01:42 AM   #55
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I think the _greatest strength_ of the U.S. military is the division into branches, each with a specific mission. In a decentralized structure like this, each branch can develop doctrines and weapons/transport systems to fit its own particular mission and can learn from the other. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough; each branch should be unlimited (except by its budget) as to which types of gear/vehicles/aircraft it buys. If the Army ever wants to get decent fixed-wing CAS, for example, it needs to get its own fast-movers, because it’s a low priority to the Zoomies.
Heck, another idea that looks good, on paper.

Army: fights on land
Navy: fights at sea
Marines: original purpose was to repel boarders, no?
Air Force: from Army Air Force, which was (at least in function)from Army Signal Corps (balloons n' stuff)

Each branch keeps redefining its role until nobody knows what their role is. The example of the RAF in WWII (RAF wanted operational control of ALL aircraft): it didn't work because of interservice rivalry, and sea-going planes were generally piss-poor compared to U.S. and Japan because they were an adaptation of existing land-based planes; the RAF couldn't cooperate intraservice either.

In an idealized world, neither the Army nor the Marines would need their own private air forces. They fight for their own specialized fleets because they cannot "depend" on the Navy or Air Force, WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM.

When a new toy is developed, the other branches take a look to see how they can work it into their plans, and change the plans to get the new toys. If the Marines want a fast transport, other provenalternatives are out there, but it's supposed to fight its way in? Add armament and speed, maneuverability drops; add bigger engines to regain speed and range drops; add bigger gas tanks and transport capability drops. A transport's job is to move tonnage, nothing more or less. A fighter/bomber/CAS/attack helo's job is to throw ordinance.

A jack-of-all-trades is the master of none, and a design by committee ultimately satisfies no one.
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Old May 15, 2002, 10:17 AM   #56
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The OSPREY Now

George,
Your misinformed posts pushed me to register and post for the first time, and not even on a gun-related topic! You said:
<The Osprey is one of my favorite aircraft designs ever... but I still admit that the thing is a huge failure. It's the new Sgt York.>
As the original whistle-blower on the DIVAD Gun/ Sgt. York, and the current guy responsible for oversight of the test program on the V-22, let me relate a couple of points, good and bad. First, the Frogs are getting so old they're falling out of the sky. Second, the V-22 carries 24 Marines at 250 knots and it can maneuver defensively at 3.5g. It can come from a ship over the horizon to any one of a number of LZs 500+ miles from the ship. It can lift over 10,000 lbs externally (HMMMV, howitzer). We're about to re-start a two-year flight test program on a redesigned aircraft (hydraulics and nacelles) that will answer finally the controversial issue of vortex ring state and operational maneuvering. George, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, and you're not alone if you believe the tiltrotor is a flawed concept. But I, for one, believe that the potential of the OSPREY is worth going after.
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Old May 15, 2002, 10:43 AM   #57
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First, the Frogs are getting so old they're falling out of the sky.
Check your statistics devildog. Compare the number of H46 Class A mishaps attributed to mechanical failure with the number of mechanically induced Class A mishaps for [insert favorite type/model/series here]. The Marine squadron (deployable) with the best safety record is HMM-264. Know what they fly? CH46E. The Navy squadron with the best safety record is HC-3. HC-3 has augmented its HH46D models with SH60s, but they're still racking up mishap free hours with the old phrogs too.

When you take pilot/maintenance error out of the equation, the old battle phrog suddenly doesn't look so bad. If HMM-264 and HC-3 can do it. So can everyone else.

Obviously the H46 does not meet the future needs of the Marine Corps (as the current leadership defines them), but I honestly think the Marine Corps is making a big mistake by eliminating the H46 from the wing outright. As I've said before, the Osprey (or something else as capable) has a place alongside the current medium lift aircraft. Not in place of it. STLRN is right, regardless of how we got here, or whether the doctrine is viable, it is here. No point arguing about OMFTS and STOM. However, I think that totally writing off the Boeing 360 project in favor of the Osprey might have been caused by a case of "tilt rotor tunnel vision" combined with some politically motivated "Bell backscratching". The Osprey is killing Marines. That's understandable. Most new designs do that for a while. It's a shame, but some must be willing to take the risks and make the sacrifice for the good of the Corps. Not all heros die on the battlefield. I'm just afraid that the Osprey will continue to kill Marines in combat and training for a very long time.

Back on topic...

The issue of defensive capability has not been addressed yet by any proponents of the V22. Would you care to share any information on how this is being addressed, Leatherneck?

Last edited by fix; May 15, 2002 at 01:09 PM.
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Old May 15, 2002, 11:34 AM   #58
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Leatherneck, Welcome to TFL. And thanks for speaking up - seriously.
You are lucky to have insider information that I dont have... so true - I am misinformed... Your right.
Please allow me to ask you some questions then, as I would love to become informed.

First, why is the military using the 5000PSI hydraulic system that is prone to failures and leaks instead of the proven 3000PSI system? That's not making much sense to me.

Second, The location of the engines, gear boxes and rotors at the wing tips causes relatively high roll and yaw inertia... Bad karma for ship based operations. It is reported in official naval reports that this is dangerous to the point of possibilty occluding the V-22 from all ship based operations. What is being done to correct his design flaw issue?

Third, If this design is so good... why is the military fronting all the lettuce for development for this when such a thing would have commercial applications. The DOD didn't pay for the Bell 206 or the Boeing 747... In fact, the civililian version of the same tilt rotor system was totally scraped. If the design and concept is so good, where is the Civvy version?

Forth, if the Osprey is so good... why wouldn't an AV-22 version be planned... you know, like an AH platform... guns... missles... the usual fireworks. Why do we have to develop from scratch a whole new kind of aircraft using whole new technologies we don't even have yet - just to ESCORT the Osprey? http://nationaldefense.ndia.org/article.cfm?Id=570
I remember that we had the same issue in Nam that was solved easily... do the phrases "Slicks" and "Hogs" mean anything to the military anymore?

Sure the Osrey could carry more grunts than a Seahawk... but the Osprey is costing us 118 Million a pop while a Seahawk costs only 17 million. Now, correct me if I'm wrong and uninformed here... but you could carry more troops with 2 Seahawks, than you can with 1 Osrey... and you could save 84 million. Oh, and save 6 or more years of development time and money. 6 years just being a guess as that's the claimed timeline while at the same time you guys are saying there is no timeline... meaning what? Another 10 years or so? Because as it stands right now, Boeing is making more bank developing this thing than they would if they just actually built ones that work. Right, I know they are building them... we have how many in storage? 50? Maybe more?
I may be wrong - but my info is based of publicly availabe information (such as official reports and stuff). If I am wrong, then the whole program needs a PR person to sell it better.
http://www.setp.org/uniquetiltrotohandlingcharac.htm
http://www.g2mil.com/TRAAC_Shipboard_OPS.pdf
http://www.g2mil.com/Natops%20Extracts.PDF
http://www.g2mil.com/ReporttoCongress04-2002.pdf
http://www.navair.navy.mil/v22/future.cfm

We don't even need to go into brownouts or other issues... yet.

Tell us more about this stuff... I am interested... Seriously. I love the V-22 as its a cool design - I just don't see it actually working as a real tool for the military. I can say that, just like I can say that I like Tie Fighters and the Millenium Falcon too.

(that last link to the Naval air website... how come the missions described are not combat missions? I don't see anything about dropping off troops... Air to Airt refueling? I can see that... That's something a COD can't do. At the moment. I think the Navy could fix that if they wanted to.)
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Old May 15, 2002, 11:41 AM   #59
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I am torn between "don't fix what ain't broke" and "we need to explore newer and better".

The old H-25 was sorta usefull for a little cargo, mine sweeping, troop insertion. Twas physically demanding to fly when right and extremely hard to fly without boost. And being a reciprocater, it was short on power and really limp when hot. I think we left most of those burning in rice paddies.

The Bell HSL was bought as the first dedicated ASW platform. Bell's only production tandem roter rig. Didn't last long.

Then came the HUS/HSS/H-34. Decent load capicity, decent hydraulics and ASE (automatic stabilization equipment) that worked. Real all weather capability. When the ASE failed or the hydraulic boost failed it was a bear to handle but flyable. For a reciprocater it had good power.

Then came the turboshaft with it's great power to weight ratio.

I have flown twenty plus models of rotary wing aircraft, all of which were controllable even with loss of control boost and/or ASE.

We are getting into such a state of sophistication that birds are becoming systems dependant.

I do not know, but I fear the Osprey is similar to the F-117 in that the only one who could fly it without ASE would be a test pilot with the strength of a gorilla.

Sometimes I wish I were younger, other times I am glad I'm not. But my grandkids gonna be goin in harms way and I do fret about the equipment.

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Old May 15, 2002, 11:50 AM   #60
George Hill
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What about autorotation?
I've been in 3 situations (as the grunt in the back) when the bird had to autorotate. Different reasons each time and different situations. One resulted in a lot of damage and a couple people hurt. I still think I'm 1/4 inch shorter from one of them.
Can the V-22 do that? Surely it could glide somewhat right? Or does it glide the same way bricks don't?
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Old May 15, 2002, 01:01 PM   #61
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Gents,
Thanks for your courteous responses. I'll try to briefly provide a bit more info.
The 5000 psi system has been a source of concern to me from the outset. As have the titanium lines. Both, of course are there for weight reduction purposes (a small, high-pressure actuator vs. a bigger, heavier 3000 psi version). The crash of two of my buds at New River in 12/2000 was caused by a chafed titanium line suffering a major blowout at one of the few points in common between the two primary hydraulic systems. The nacelle redesign has increased the 1/2" clearance between lines and anything else previously required, and added dynamic maneuver loads to the conditions under which wire bundles and hydraulic lines can't come in contact. As we get back in the air in the next week or so, rigorous post-flight and periodic inspections will be conducted, but the critical area of the nacelles is a bitch to get into to inspect.

re: roll inertia. Seems to me more roll inertia would be good, as we've experienced a little "squirrelyness" in the lateral axis. God knows there's plenty of control power out there!

The commercial variant is on hold pending safe return to flight, but the company (Bell only--not Boeing) told me they have about fifty orders for the model 609 already.

The AV-22 is a cool idea, but neither the Marines nor SOCOM (Special Forces owners of the CV-22) have adopted it. Seems like it would be a great source of firepower right out there with the guys that need it.

OSPREY @$117M and Seahawk @$18M may be apples and oranges to some degree. But no doubt, the V-22 is WAY more 'spensive.

re: timelines. I've had to move heaven and earth to get these guys to stay "event-based" and not cut corners. That's one of the hardest things for a program to do, because as soon as you adopt a schedule, Congress, DoD, the media and the warfighters start stopwatches. What they must do in this "one strike and you're out" environment is go slow but steady and never make a misstep.

Brownouts--probably will be as bad as a 53E, and will be handled similarly. But the downwash in some quadrants under a heavy OSPREY is truly awe-inspiring!

Sam, you mentioned power-to-weight ratio. Man, this thing has that in spades! Pushes you right back in the seat during conversion and suddenly you're accelerating through 180 knots. That, along with your rightly placed concern about systems-dependent aircraft, tells me that at least at first we're going to have to pilot this bird with only experienced pilots. The simulators are great though. There is one pilot now getting ready to resume flying who has over 500 hours in the sim, and 18 in the V-22.

So my net assessment at this point is that it's an awful expensive machine with unrivalled performance that will suit itself well to the OMFTS/STOM scenarioes. But it absolutely has to be sterling silver-quality and we have to figure out in the next two years of flight testing if the operational guys can live with vortex ring state and the V-22's unique response to it.
S/F
Tom
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Old May 15, 2002, 01:23 PM   #62
George Hill
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For a second there I thought you were spoofing... but your IP address belonging to "PENT.NIPR.MIL" puts you right there. I guess we can safely assume that you Leatherneck, are indeed the Horse's Mouth. Forgive me if I seem to be the other end.

You'll quickly learn and pretty much everyone here will happily verify that I am the most disagreed with character on TFL.
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Old May 15, 2002, 01:43 PM   #63
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Torquemada – the role & mission of the USMC is defined by statute, as is its minimum size of three Divisions and three Air Wings. There is no argument over its role, which hasn’t been primarily to “repel boarders” since the days of wooden ships. Hint: it has to do with providing expeditionary forces.

Your comment about “Heck, another idea that looks good, on paper” is more appropriately applied to your scheme of a single unified “military.” The decentralized multi-branch approach is what we’ve done for 227 years and it’s worked quite well.

Maybe “In an idealized world, neither the Army nor the Marines would need their own private air forces,” but this is the real world and real people are in it. The Corps needs its own assets for the same reason the Navy needs its own ships. Centralizing all aircraft with the Air Force and all tanks with the Army is as sensible as prohibiting Police Departments from having cars because the Highway Patrol can patrol all the roads.

Semper fi,
Bruegger out


I said--

I think the _greatest strength_ of the U.S. military is the division into branches, each with a specific mission. In a decentralized structure like this, each branch can develop doctrines and weapons/transport systems to fit its own particular mission and can learn from the other. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough; each branch should be unlimited (except by its budget) as to which types of gear/vehicles/aircraft it buys. If the Army ever wants to get decent fixed-wing CAS, for example, it needs to get its own fast-movers, because it’s a low priority to the Zoomies.

quote:

Heck, another idea that looks good, on paper.

Army: fights on land
Navy: fights at sea
Marines: original purpose was to repel boarders, no?
Air Force: from Army Air Force, which was (at least in function)from Army Signal Corps (balloons n' stuff)

Each branch keeps redefining its role until nobody knows what their role is. The example of the RAF in WWII (RAF wanted operational control of ALL aircraft): it didn't work because of interservice rivalry, and sea-going planes were generally piss-poor compared to U.S. and Japan because they were an adaptation of existing land-based planes; the RAF couldn't cooperate intraservice either.

In an idealized world, neither the Army nor the Marines would need their own private air forces. They fight for their own specialized fleets because they cannot "depend" on the Navy or Air Force, WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM.

[snip]
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Old May 15, 2002, 02:33 PM   #64
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Bruegger condensed.

Design something to do all things.
And it won't.

Sam
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Old May 15, 2002, 02:37 PM   #65
fix
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Quote:
Design something to do all things. And it wont.
Why wouldn't that apply to the V22?
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Old May 15, 2002, 02:39 PM   #66
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<suction on>
George, I haven't seen anything so disagreeable about your posts that i've read. But thanks for the warning. <suction off>
Autorotation--probably a bad idea in the V-22 or any tiltrotor, owing to the relatively low energy storage ability in the rotor system. Based on VERY preliminary tests, getting the rotors down below 30 degreees or so quickly and arresting the sink rate with flare will be more promising. Operational experience with autorotation in medium and heavy helicopters seems to mirror your experience--only about half are successful. In an emgine-out situation in the V-22, probably the best one can hope for is to cushion the impact so the crashworthy structure can do its job and save the occupants. The aircraft will be lost. To date, the V-22 has never lost engine power in flight, except for the 1994 fire at Quantico. And to require autorotation, you'd have to either lose both engines or one engine and the synch shaft. The good news is that time spent in the "dead-man's zone" is brief in the V-22 because of its phenomenal acceleration/deceleration capability.
S/F
Tom
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Old May 15, 2002, 02:57 PM   #67
fix
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And to require autorotation, you'd have to either lose both engines or one engine and the synch shaft.
Ouch!!! Loss of synchronization while single engine would seem to be unrecoverable. If you were able to secure the working engine quickly enough to prevent a rollover, are the flight controls capable of balancing the turns on the two heads? I'll admit, the prospect of sync shaft failure in the Osprey seems less ominous than in the 46, where the possibility of losing rotor phase resulting in the blades colliding is very real.
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Old May 15, 2002, 04:37 PM   #68
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Losing the sync shaft probably have same net result as losing the box to box drive shaft on a tandem rotor......like the 46 and 47 etc. Very rare cept for the occupants. Becomes a major part of their lives.

Seems even less likely in an Osprey type set up as the shaft should be rather lightly loaded untill getting into a single engine situation.

Stuff happens. But we want the odds in our favor.

Sam
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Old May 15, 2002, 04:50 PM   #69
fix
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Losing the sync shaft probably have same net result as losing the box to box drive shaft on a tandem rotor......like the 46 and 47 etc
Actually, the Osprey would seem to have a better chance at recovering, pending Leatherneck's answer on the flight controls, because of the way the blades are arranged. The blades on the 46 and 47 actually turn through each other. There is only about 6 inches to spare, depending on lead/lag at the time of sync shaft failure, so a blade strike is almost definate. The Osprey's blades have some separation, so this shouldn't be a problem. Provided that the controls can keep the turns balanced, if the pilot can secure the functioning engine quickly enough, it seems to be recoverable. Now, that's assuming the thing can generate enough energy to auto in the first place, which Leatherneck says is doubtful. I guess something's better than nothing though.
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Old May 15, 2002, 08:10 PM   #70
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Marine Aviation in general

http://www.g2mil.com/MarineAir.htm
Here is an interesting take on the subject:
Quote:
Marine Corps aviation is literally falling apart. Most aircraft are near the end of their expected life span, causing maintenance costs to soar and availability to decline. Pleas to Congress have secured more funding, but not enough. The biggest problem is the V-22 program, which has taken a long time to enter production and is costing more than planned. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps needs to replace it's ancient KC-130s now, and major funding for the production of the Marine Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) is needed starting in 2007. Funds are also needed to continue the increasingly expensive H-1 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) to upgrade Cobra attack helicopters and Huey transports, and a SLEP for the CH-53Es is needed soon. Political support for more funding looks good, but no one expects the miraculous increase needed to clear the multi-billion dollar procurement backlog.

Marine Aviation must also deal with demands to leave its Futenma air station on the island of Okinawa, Japan. This airbase is located in a crowded urban area whose increasing agitated residents were promised in 1998 that the base would be closed within seven years. The idea of a new base on the northern part of the island has been considered, but concerns about costs, environmental damage, and long-term acceptance by nearby residents have led to an impasse. Even if an agreement is reached, all American military bases will suffer a funding shortfall for a decade as billions of Japanese base support funds are redirected to build this new airfield. Meanwhile, political protests and highly publicized liberty incidents have increased tensions and the Japanese government has reduced annual basing contributions. There is no magical solution to these problems, but relief can be obtained by adopting these five proposals.

#1 Scrap the CH-53Ds.

No one believes the Marine Corps will get all the V-22s it wants. In 2000, the total buy was reduced again, to 348. They are costing far more than planned and stretching production conflicts with other aviation funding. As a result, the Marine Corps cannot replace its current medium-lift helicopters on a one for one basis. Therefore, the Marine Corps should go ahead and deactivate a few medium lift squadrons, starting with the remaining CH-53Ds (right) in Hawaii; which are substantially different from the powerful CH-53Es.

While the CH-53Ds are slightly newer than the CH-46Es, there are only 44 left in service, and are not needed to support ship-based deployments. Unique parts are expensive since CH-53Ds are no longer flown by the US Air Force, the US Navy, and not even by the Marine Corps Reserve. More importantly, the 248 CH-46Es have recently undergone SLEPs, and serve as the backbone for forward deployed Marine task forces.

The Marine Corps should retire the dying CH-53Ds immediately to save millions of dollars in annual maintenance and planned upgrades. The "Delta" Marines would transition to V-22s or CH-53Es, thus increasing manning levels throughout the Marine Corps. If aviation funding proves adequate in a few years, two new CH-53E squadrons could be formed using the 43 Navy MH-53Es which are being retired, and sending them through the planned CH-53E SLEP program. The CH-53Ds are scheduled to begin retirement in FY 2006, scrap all of them this year and deactivate their squadrons.

#2 Assume most Navy's helicopter support missions in Sicily and Guam.

There is always talk of better integrating Navy and Marine aviation to save money and manpower. One option is to allow Marine helicopters to assume some Navy missions overseas. The Navy maintains a MH-53E helicopter squadron (HC-4) at NAS Sigonella in Sicily, and a CH-46D squadron (HCS-5) at Anderson Air Force base in Guam. If the Marine Corps assumed their missions, the Navy could deactivate two helicopter squadrons and free almost 1000 sailors for shipboard duty. The Navy would also save millions of dollars in operational costs plus the cost of replacing the aging aircraft in these squadrons. The Navy plans to buy dozens of MH-60S to fill this role, but funding has been cut and many Navy officers have argued they cannot fill the MH-53E role. Sicily is the most strategic spot on the globe, and the sailors of HC-4 have been heavily involved in ground operations in the Balkans and Africa, often supporting Marines.

The Navy may wish to retain some helicopters at each location for specific missions, like detachments for vertical replenishment. However, the Marines can easily assume most missions in exchange for promises that savings will be redirected to the naval aviation procurement budget. The Marine Corps already maintains maritime pre-positioned ships in Italy and Guam, so Marine helicopters based nearby could support training exercises and operations. In addition, the Marine Corps does not pre-positioned helicopters, so they must fly or ride ships from the United States. This is a lengthy process which strains these aging aircraft. Positioning more Marine helicopters overseas will not only save money, but greatly enhance the readiness of the entire Marine Corps to intervene overseas.

#3 Shut down flight operations at MCAS Futnema.

Okinawa is a strategic location, but the four Marine helicopter squadrons at MCAS Futenma would have no real impact in the unlikely event that the powerful nations of Japan, China or the Koreas began fighting. If the USA did become involved in a conflict, Okinawa airbases should expect missile and aircraft attacks. In contrast, Guam is much farther from mainland Asia, and closer to the South Pacific which has several unstable nations. Marine helicopters based at Guam would be safer from attack and nearer to areas of turmoil where they could make a difference. The Air Force downsized Anderson AFB several years ago so space is available on Guam; it even has vacant family housing units.
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Old May 15, 2002, 08:10 PM   #71
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Continued

Quote:
The Marine Corps cannot afford to waste resources and political capital to maintain four squadrons at Futenma where they are vulnerable to attack, not wanted, nor truly needed. The Marine Corps must adjust to a changing world and give up efforts for a new airbase on Okinawa. The Japanese government, which has been concerned about the estimated $5 billion dollar cost to build a new airbase, would be enthusiastic to contribute a billion dollars to build new facilities at existing airbases. One large composite squadron HMM-262 (rein) could move to nearby Kadena Air Force base, MAG-36 headquarters could move to Hawaii, and the other three squadrons could move to Hawaii, Guam or Iwakuni, Japan.

The Air Force may object, but HMM-262 is part of the Okinawa-based 31st MEU, and some Marine helicopters must remain to support infantry training. Given the current tensions on the island, the Air Force should support this plan, especially if it brings new construction funding to Kadena. Otherwise, civilian leaders could exert pressure by suggesting the Air Force turn over all of Kadena to the Marines and disperse squadrons to other US Air Force bases in the Pacific.

#4 Realign helicopter basing worldwide.

If the Navy vacates space for Marine helicopters at Guam and Sicily, the Corps should forward deploy more Marine helicopter squadrons. For example, only one CH-53E squadron is based overseas; at Futenma. It may be possible to base one at Sicily, and two in Hawaii (which could provide detachments for HMM-262 at Kadena), and one in Guam. These squadrons could move from crowded MCAS Miramar, which would pacify some noise sensitive San Diego neighbors who are upset at their arrival from recently closed MCAS Tustin. Navy HC-4 in Sicily maintains two aircraft at NAF Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf. Basing 16 Marine helicopters at Sicily could support more helicopters in the Gulf.

The possibility of maintaining Marine aircraft at other strategic US Naval Air stations should also be considered, like Rota, Spain; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and even Key West, Florida. The formation of composite (HMC) squadrons at overseas locations should be considered; which could have a helicopter mix like: 8 CH-53Es, 6 AH-1Ws and 3 UH-1Ns. Helicopters based overseas can support and augment deployed MEUs and carrier battle groups, and provide immediate transport of forward-deployed FAST platoons. The exact plan will depend on resources, political acceptance, and base capacity, but many exciting options exist to station more Marine helicopters all over the globe, rather than keeping them all on Okinawa. These bases will require Marines to augment base support activities, but the shutdown of MCAS Futenma will free hundreds of Marines for potential reassignment. The Marine Corps needs to study options to forward-deploy helicopters with a combination of permanent based squadrons and six-month rotations of squadrons, detachments, or TAD crews from CONUS bases.

Placing Marine helicopters at more overseas bases would also improve retention. Most young Marines enjoy their first tour on Okinawa, but the thought of a second, third, and even fourth tour to a small island with tight liberty restrictions hurts the retention of pilots and expensively trained enlisted personnel. Even aviation training around the small, isolated island of Okinawa becomes dull. On the other hand, the chance to deploy and train in places like Guam, Hawaii, and Sicily will generate great excitement for a career in the Marine Corps.

#5 Bring back the OV-10 Broncos

After the Gulf war, the Marine Corps' "Fighter Mafia" preserved 19 F/A-18 fighter-attack squadrons by eliminating the Corps' three OV-10 squadrons. This was criticized by many infantry officers in the pages of the Marine Corps Gazette because nothing replaced the OV-10, which is ideal for the low-intensity wars of today. Broncos had operated from LHD/LHA helicopter carriers to provide instant reconnaissance and intelligence to forward-deployed Marine units. The OV-10Ds were upgraded in the 1990s and then retired and placed in storage. The Corps has just received an increase in manpower which it could use to stand up these squadrons within a few months. There are still hundreds of Marines on active duty with the skills to operate and fly Broncos. If funding is a problem, the Corps can cut two F/A-18C squadrons with little impact; the Navy desperately needs F/A-18Cs to fill shortages.

The US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have thousands of fighter-attack aircraft, but no OV-10s. Broncos were critical in coordinating strikes in Vietnam. Satellites and UAVs cannot substitute for the situational awareness of two Bronco crewmen circling overhead. This is one reason the Air Force and Army are finding it difficult to coordinate activities in Afghanistan. Marine OV-10s are needed in Afghanistan and aboard ships today, and can be there in a few months.

Marine Aviation must adapt to a changing world. The deterioration of Marine Aviation is giving rise to pressure for radical change by civilian leaders. Proposals have appeared to pull all Marines out of Okinawa, eliminate Marine fixed-wing aircraft, and turn over MCAS Miramar for civilian use. If the Marine Corps does not take immediate steps to prove itself a flexible organization and respond to civilian concerns, outsiders may intervene. These five steps to reorganize Marine helicopter forces can be accomplished in a few years and immediately save money and relieve political pressures. Most importantly, it will place Marine helicopters in more strategic areas and provide better training for Marine Air.
What's your take on this?
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Old May 15, 2002, 10:30 PM   #72
C.R.Sam
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Fix......aside from the likely entanglement of blades, loss of shaft on 46 while rotor discs are loaded tends to induce a nearly instant tumble. Powered end goes up in relation to the limp end.


Quick way to take out one engine and the sync shaft would be gearbox failure. Again, rare...........but it happens.

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Old May 15, 2002, 11:36 PM   #73
George Hill
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Not in CART racing...
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Old May 16, 2002, 12:05 AM   #74
C.R.Sam
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It has been bout 45 years since the Osprey's grandaddy first flew. The Vertol VZ-2. Started flight test in 1957.

Not what one would call overly rapid developement.

Tilt wing with two proprotors at the ends of the wing. Transition from forward flight to hover was a bear. Steep descents in the VTOL configuration were hazardous due to thin line between workin blades and stalled blades.

Not much seems to have changed re the original problems, just that now we have more sophisticated systems that are plagued with problems.

Boeing found a whale of a cow to milk.

Sam
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Old May 16, 2002, 01:33 AM   #75
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Navy guy weighing in.
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For those who think it doesn't fit into to the Marines concept of warfighting, obviously don't know about OMFTS and STOM, which is the emerging Marine Doctrine for warfighting. It is built around the Osprey and AAAV.
Hard to execute OMFTS and STOM if flown to LZ in POS STOL/VTOL losermobile Osprey deathtrap. Jarhead jargon aside, Marines fight much better alive than DEAD. Osprey is brain-damage.
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