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V-22 Osprey - Best Alternatives To It?  
User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8634 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8850 times:

So the V-22 Osprey is now in full production / operation.


Seeing as it cost $30 billion + so far, it had better be the best equipment in every way. Yet, it has little or no armament.

Should the Marines + AF have pursued a conventional helicopter instead of the problematic, mostly unarmed V-22? What would carry a comparable load for a cheaper price? Each V-22 is said to cost $110-190 million including development.

What are some alternatives out there?

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8816 times:

Quoting Flighty (Thread starter):
Yet, it has little or no armament.

You might as well criticize the C-17, KC-135 or the E-3 for being unarmed because that makes about as much sense as this criticism.


User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3376 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8804 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 1):
You might as well criticize the C-17, KC-135 or the E-3 for being unarmed because that makes about as much sense as this criticism.

Well, you won't see those plane types going into combat zones. Instead they will stay outside of it to provide support to the planes that do go in the combat zone. The Osprey however will go into combat.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8758 times:

Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 2):
Well, you won't see those plane types going into combat zones

I think a lot of the C-17 guys would debate that, especially when you consider that they where used in drop operation over Iraq at the start of the war.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8743 times:

I must have missed where developing a whole new style of aircraft is ever cheap, safe, or reliable.

Go look at the dawn of the jet age. Lots of money, lots of lives spent getting that first step. A first step that was little better in combat than what could be done with conventional engines. Now look at jet engines vs pistons.

Which isn't to say that Boeing didn't try to do too much in one frame. This is why the composites revolution has been less painful. Its never been "pushed". No one tried to make a composite plane at the bleeding edge of the technology required to do it. Now, they make B2's and the like out of said materials with relative ease.


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8720 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 1):
You might as well criticize the C-17, KC-135 or the E-3 for being unarmed because that makes about as much sense as this criticism.

 redflag  Ummmm.... what??  crazy 

Come'on, what a ridiculous argument.

The V-22 is in a completely different category than the aircraft you list. Here we have an aircraft, who's primary mission will require it to fly into high threat environments. Neither the KC-135 nor the E-3 are subject to the threat of small arms fire... and the C-17 is unlikely to encounter it. The V-22 will most definitely encounter it. Neither the KC-135 nor the E-3 are likely to be subject to the threat of manpads... and while the C-17 is (and was hit by one, in Iraq) the threat is a lot less critical to it, than it is to a V-22.

The V-22 will conduct SpecOp missions... flying deep in hostile territory, with little or no force support. It is essential that it has the ability to fight its way into, and out of, the combat zone.

The fact that it took 20years - and already deploying it to a war zone - before the somehow finally asked, "Hey, how are we gonna fight our way out of trouble, if we don't have weapons?" Is a legitimate question. And Flighty is within his right to criticize this fact.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 3):
I think a lot of the C-17 guys would debate that, especially when you consider that they where used in drop operation over Iraq at the start of the war.

Yeah, and when we airdropped into northern Iraq, the 173rd landed on a bunch of sheep.

No joke... they jumped on a bunch of sheep farmers. There wasn't a serious threat for over 50 miles. Hardly a "high threat" environment those C-17s were flying into!

If you look at the most dangerous areas the C-17s operate, it's probably flying in and out of Baghdad. But that area has already improved dramatically... so much so that, two months ago, I actually flew the 15R approach. The threat of manpads is dramatically reduced.

...But hovering over a hot LZ/PZ? The threat environment is considerably higher.

-UH60


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8702 times:

Quoting Flighty (Thread starter):
Should the Marines + AF have pursued a conventional helicopter instead of the problematic, mostly unarmed V-22? What would carry a comparable load for a cheaper price? Each V-22 is said to cost $110-190 million including development.

What are some alternatives out there?

The V-22 is designed to combine the best features of airplane and helicopter. Speed, carrying capability, hover capability, VTOL ability. Transport helicopters are only lightly armed, as best I remember, requiring either purpose built armed helicopters for escort or some sort of fixed wing escort (A-10 would be a realistic escort).

To the best of my knowledge, there's nothing out there that compares with the V-22, at least in terms of time needed to get from the pickup point to the delivery destination; certainly no helicopter that can equal or exceed its performance.

Now, if you're talking about replacing the V-22 strictly on the basis of cost, your only other alternatives would be helicopters and I'm not well versed in that subject so I can't offer some possible replacements.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8634 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 8666 times:

Well I was thinking of replacing the V-22 with a helicopter for its conventional missions. Say, carry 12 men and gear 150 miles in, drop them, return.

The feeling I am get is that conventional helicopters can carry an equal load as the V-22 to a similar distance, but they fly below 16,000 vs 26,000 for the V-22 and they tend to fly at 130 knots or so instead of 220 knots. So the V-22 definitely flies faster and higher than any helicopter.

I am in favor of the V-22. We've done the R&D on it now so we might as well produce them and make use of our efforts. But I wonder if some Marines out there just wish we got some new-build choppers instead. There are some incredible choppers available now...


User currently offlineMark5388916 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8647 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):
Well I was thinking of replacing the V-22 with a helicopter for its conventional missions. Say, carry 12 men and gear 150 miles in, drop them, return.

UH-60 can shed some more light, but the MH-53 sounds like it can do it, especcialy if it has the in flight re-fuel kit.

Mark



I Love ONT and SNA, the good So Cal Airports! URL Removed as required by mod
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8639 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):

The feeling I am get is that conventional helicopters can carry an equal load as the V-22 to a similar distance, but they fly below 16,000 vs 26,000 for the V-22 and they tend to fly at 130 knots or so instead of 220 knots. So the V-22 definitely flies faster and higher than any helicopter.

Well lets get real... the V-22 is almost never going to operate around 25,000ft, unless special circumstances require such an extreme measure.

When it comes to the threat environment of ground fire, there is no real difference between 12,000ft and 25,000ft. Manpads cannot reasonably be expected to shoot down an aircraft at 2miles up. However, most semi-active radar, or active radar SAMs have max altitudes beyond 25,000ft.

So why fly at 25,000ft? The trade off to get to that altitude, and the effects it has on the crew/passengers outweighs simply flying at 12,000ft where the rules are more lax.

But... while there are helicopters that can beat the V-22 when it comes to number of troops it can carry, distance it can fly, etc... the V-22 certainly beats all helicopters when it comes to speed, which can be important. If you need multiple trips to deliver troops. If you need to get in and out, fast... more speed is better.

The problem I have is the time it took to get here, and the gross amount of money wasted. If we could do it over again, I'd say the Marines should have just bought newer rotary wing frames and ditched the V-22 concept. But oh well, we're stuck with it... lets make the best of it. Of course, we gotta arm the damn thing...  Yeah sure

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 6):
Transport helicopters are only lightly armed, as best I remember, requiring either purpose built armed helicopters for escort or some sort of fixed wing escort (A-10 would be a realistic escort).

Well not necessarily true.

The 160th has flown some very dangerous missions, deep into enemy territory, without the assistance of helicopter gunships or air support. Indeed, the 160th doesn't even own Apaches.

The helicopters they do own are very well armed, and can in conjunction with their elite flying abilities - they can usually fight themselves out of a jam. Ever see the UH-60DAP? Bad ass.

The fact that we were buying an aircraft designed for deep enemy penetration.... and it took a deployment, until we started to figure out how we would arm it, is stupid.

Quoting Mark5388916 (Reply 8):
UH-60 can shed some more light, but the MH-53 sounds like it can do it, especcialy if it has the in flight re-fuel kit.

I'm not really an expert in the MH-53. The Army doesn't have any.

But while the MH-53 can carry more people, sling load more weigh... it certainly can't go as high and as fast.

Also, their serviceability rates have been bad in Iraq. They are in need of desperate replacement.

-UH60


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8629 times:

Recently alot of V-22's have been transiting thru here and the info that they are unarmed is false. They a 7.62 MG mount on the ramp with a future .50 cal M2 mounted on the belly to be foward firing controlled remotely by the Crew Chief. In fwd flight mode they cannot use the fwd hatch due the prop radius. These were USMC acft , I don't know about future USAF arming up of the V-22. Probaby a mini gun on the rear platform .


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineCurt22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8587 times:

Quoting Flighty (Thread starter):
What are some alternatives out there?

Answer: None...The requirements for a new high speed VTOL aircraft capable of cruising at greater than 200 KIAS, carry a significant payload, range etc goes back to the earliest documents for the new machine. This requirement still exists today and no conventional helo can achieve such speed and range.

The V-22 is a odd beast on it's best day, but it will meet the customer's needs...if all goes well...this really is a transformational acft, who knows...the V-22's greatest service to the nation may be as a stepping stone to another acft that grows from this technology.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 5):
The fact that it took 20years - and already deploying it to a war zone - before the somehow finally asked, "Hey, how are we gonna fight our way out of trouble, if we don't have weapons?" Is a legitimate question. And Flighty is within his right to criticize this fact.

This is inaccurate statement...The weapon was "thought about" throughout the program, but as I said before...there was much to do, fix, test etc for the aircraft on the whole so the weapon was put on hold. COULD a weapon have been integrated sooner? Sure...but the program had enough risk involved so it was decided to reduce this risk by delaying development of some of the less important requirements.

As for shooting one's way in and out...SOCOM intends to operate this aircraft much the same as the MC-130 fleet, and not in a conventional "PaveLow" roll and do not intend to subject the V-22 to the same threats as it's rotary wing acft.


User currently offlineWvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8584 times:

The V-22 like the C-17 and any other aircraft has built in features to counter alot of weapons it will face on the ground. So it doesn't need to be armed. The thing is built like a tank so I doubt small arms fire would bring it down anyway. It took so long because it was a radical change in an aircraft those things dont get developed over night.

User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5714 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8561 times:
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Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 4):
Which isn't to say that Boeing didn't try to do too much in one frame.



Quoting Curt22 (Reply 11):
the V-22's greatest service to the nation may be as a stepping stone to another acft that grows from this technology.

My 2 cents worth, and I certainly have less expertise in this subject than some here.
INMO the V-22 is what we would call in my industry, disruptive technology... a game changing development. The mistake I think was that the V22 is too big a step for a first generation machine. Perhaps something less capable(less ambitious perhaps) would have brought quicker results.
Maybe a less ambitious 1st gen. aircraft would have resulted in faster development and by now we would be seeing a 2nd or 3rd gen platform that was way ahead of the V-22.
Just a thought, in any case the V-22 is what is available now... I hope it proves valuable!

Cheers



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4880 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 8537 times:

Quoting Flighty (Thread starter):

What are some alternatives out there?

Well, companies are still trying out different concepts which could or could not turn out to be viable alternatives.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...speedhawk-compound-helicopter.html

http://www.defense-update.com/events/2006/summary/ausa06air.htm

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...pot-for-radical-rotor-designs.html

The last one would likely be limited to civil applications.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8634 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8521 times:

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 14):
Well, companies are still trying out different concepts which could or could not turn out to be viable alternatives.....

That's cool stuff.

Is it just me, or could Burt Rutan have designed a 250mph helicopter with no problem?

The thing that got me thinking is this. Chinooks are known to tilt forward, increasing their forward speed by "tilt-rotoring" the entire aircraft into a forward, nose-down position. Couldn't that be leveraged without tilting the rotors themselves? What if a Chinook had a small wing to provide lift while it was tilting...?


User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4880 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8501 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 15):
What if a Chinook had a small wing to provide lift while it was tilting...?

From the Flightglobal article.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...speedhawk-compound-helicopter.html

Quote:
"The VTDP replaces the tail rotor and provides thrust for forward flight, while the wing unloads the rotor and allows the helicopter to fly faster.

Versions have been studied for the Bell AH-1W, Boeing AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook as well as the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk."


So the Chinook was part of the study and might also receive the wing treatment.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8473 times:

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 11):

This is inaccurate statement...The weapon was "thought about" throughout the program, but as I said before...there was much to do, fix, test etc for the aircraft on the whole so the weapon was put on hold.

Yes we know... in fact we have an Anetter who was involved in a concept study. BHMBAGLOCK told us about a study he undertook to see whether it was feasible if the 30mm gun of the Apache could be adapted to the V-22. They found it was possible... but this study was conducted years ago... and nothing ever came of it.

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 11):
COULD a weapon have been integrated sooner? Sure...but the program had enough risk involved so it was decided to reduce this risk by delaying development of some of the less important requirements.

And I find that unacceptable. I think it is a fair criticism to ask, "Why does it take a deployment to finally tackle how we'll arm the aircraft?"

It's a legitimate criticism of the Marines and Air Force for allowing the project to develop to such a stage, and there not be a viable plan for arming it. Like BHM said, the study they conducted may no longer be viable, since space inside the aircraft tends to fill as the project develops.

Quoting Curt22 (Reply 11):
As for shooting one's way in and out...SOCOM intends to operate this aircraft much the same as the MC-130 fleet, and not in a conventional "PaveLow" roll and do not intend to subject the V-22 to the same threats as it's rotary wing acft.

They are going to have to use it, like they would a MH-53. With both the MH-53 and MH-60 serviceability rates so low, and the CSAR-X issue still being held up by Lockheed and Sikorsky, something is going to have to fill the gap. Until they can get the CSAR-X aircraft and the V-22 online, it will be an odd patch work to make it work.

-UH60


User currently offlineHighlander0 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8474 times:

Perhaps using the BA609 would make a good gun ship? With a larger landing gear and flush fitting gun pods would be interesting.




Any thoughts on this?


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 984 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8472 times:

No reason to consider the BA 609 for combat roles. The V-22 would be more suitable to the gunship role, if one is ever to be produced in tilt-rotor form.

User currently offlineRC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8376 times:

Looks like the USMC are hedging their bets - the new build CH-53K fleet of 156 copies for a total of something like $19 billion.

User currently offlineMark5388916 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8375 times:

UH-60, forgot only Marines and AF dudes have Pavelows.... Intresting to hear how bad the serviceabillty rates in country have been. Is it Part related? Or is it a lack of trained crew? (If OPSEC says you can't say, np) Do you have any thoughts or what could work?

Mark



I Love ONT and SNA, the good So Cal Airports! URL Removed as required by mod
User currently offlineCurt22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8354 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 17):
something is going to have to fill the gap. Until they can get the CSAR-X aircraft and the V-22 online

Your right...sort of...their must be a VTOL replacement for the loss of the MH-53's but it does not need to be a gap filler...this "something" is MORE MH-47 acft...SOCOM's VTOL needs have not decreased, but Gen Brown's parting gift to his Alma Mata (TF 160) was to drive a stake though the heart of the "undead" MH-53 acft and kicked AFSOC out of the SOF helicopter business...the workload will be picked up by increasing the MH-47 fleet to somewhere around 75 acft...And yes, last I heard the the Golf's are delivering on scheduled.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 17):
And I find that unacceptable. I think it is a fair criticism to ask, "Why does it take a deployment to finally tackle how we'll arm the aircraft?"

All acqusition programs are about one thing RISK...Acq is a constant juggling acft of managing cost, schedule and performance risk, and sometimes tough choices must be made, what to do fist, second, and sometimes, not at all if a promised technology fails.

Regardless of the CSAF's "Ready-Fire - Aim" manner of speaking...The USAF has not yet decided to "deploy" the CV-22 without a weapon, and not really worried about CV-22 deploying without a weapon, but if they do...we'll have to see what tactics they will use, will they treat the acft like an MC-130 that can hover?

Is there a method to the Chief's "Madness"??? Surely no military member would make a statment intended to raise an emotional appeal in a public forum such as the mention deployment without a weapon? LOL...Now that the hard problems of flight control/hydraulics and nacelle system redesign has been completed...a little emotional appeal might shake the money tree enough to drop some fun tickets onto the gun system now...

USMC does have a "pea shooter" on the ramp, not sure what happened to the M3M testing they were playing with a while back...but this is their choice to make...does make me wonder why they would be satisfied with a single barrle 7.62 weapon.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8332 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 9):
The problem I have is the time it took to get here, and the gross amount of money wasted. If we could do it over again, I'd say the Marines should have just bought newer rotary wing frames and ditched the V-22 concept. But oh well, we're stuck with it... lets make the best of it. Of course, we gotta arm the damn thing...

While I fully agree that the current results Vs cost is not where one would like them to be, It is however likely the start of a new style of aircraft that WILL provide solid results in future results vs cost.

Basicly the VF-22 is meteor or Airacomet of its day. Perhaps overstating it a bit since conventional helicopters will be around for a long time. It remains that tilt rotor or tilt engine aircraft have a nice niche to fill.


User currently offlineWvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8314 times:

Quoting Highlander0 (Reply 18):
Perhaps using the BA609 would make a good gun ship? With a larger landing gear and flush fitting gun pods would be interesting.

It would be interesting but with the V-22 already developed and looks much sturdier for combat it would be just as easy to add the weapons to it and probably would be much more functional.


25 Post contains links DEVILFISH : It seems Time magazine has taken up the cudgels to raise that emotional howl to (not necessarily) shake the "money tree" some more..... http://www.de
26 Flighty : I read that Time Magazine article and that is why I started this thread. The article was maudlin and uselessly whiny IMO. Where were they in 1987 when
27 BHMBAGLOCK : No for two reasons: 1. It's designed for a commercial role and although this isn't necessarily a show stopper for transport use it's a killer when it
28 CTR : The CH-53K is a done deal for development of prototype aircraft for evaluation. Production contracts will not be issued until after Dev Val. New buil
29 Curt22 : Yes I read the story...quite entertaining in a "I don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but I'm writing this story anyway" sort of way! I guess t
30 Flighty : It was shameful, it did not have a "news" tone even. Pure tabloid. They scared some Marines mommies at home (or wives), and that's about it. Time rea
31 Post contains links DEVILFISH : Looks like BA Systems is stepping into the void. Video here..... http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...offers-gun-for-v-22-tiltrotor.html Quote: "BA
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