The V-22 "Osprey" - One At Twice The Price
For those of you who don't keep up on military hardware, the V-22 is a "tiltroter" VTOL craft that ascends/descends like a helicopter then rotates its props 90 degrees in flight to fly like an aircraft, an arrangement that many experts have referred to as fundamentally unsound. No matter, after 18 years of delays, funding cuts, program cancellations, funding restorations, groundings, glitches, mechanical failures, design flaws, 5 crashes, and 30 deaths the Marines are sending the unwieldy craft to Iraq.
But regardless of how much action the Osprey sees, it will never justify its staggering cost. Just consider that, at $80 million dollars apiece, each V-22 is four times the cost of the Sikorsky MH-60s Seahawk, an alternative to the Osprey. And sure...the Osprey can do things the Seahawk can't--fly aircraft distances, refuel in flight--but the Seahawk carries the same payload at 1/3 the weight and is armed. The V-22 carries no armaments, so...no combat.
And here's the most sobering statistic. All together the US armed forces only plan to acquire 450 V-22s. So factoring in the program cost you can add another $66 million to the price tag of each unit. That's almost double!
Perhaps the Marines should have named this craft 'The Albatross' rather than 'The Osprey'.
Somewht off subject, I saw something on one of the PBS's, Discovery, Military channels recently that the stealth bomber, B1 or B2?, was built without a bunk in it; and, that when they flew it to Iraq the last time around at about 36 hours per round trip, the pilots went to Walmart to buy a chaise lounge to put behind the cockpit. Got to admit it's more cost effective than the Osprey in that small detail.
Dave... Grounded twice, defunded at least once. This program has been mess from the start. About the "stealth": That would be the B2.
Lew... Which Bush administration? The first? ;-)
I say we cut the defense budget to around $25 billion and let the defense contractors figure out how to make an honest living.
Daniel... I love your characterization, but remember that the Osprey was conceived of during Reagan's tenure in office. Of course, your description fits there as well.
Windspike... That's the most astute thing I've heard about the Osprey so far. Especially given that Marine 1 is a Sikorsky helicopter.
Another glass house. Time to throw some more stones.
Endorendil... It boggles the mind doesn't it. US spending is...what...quintuple what any other country spends?
SadButTrue... Klingons! LOL!