Well, this is embarrassing.
Archived posts from category ‘Marines’
The U.S. Navy just dropped another $2.4 billion on a class of new light aircraft carriers specifically designed to carry the U.S. Marines’ F-35B stealth jump jet. Just one small problem: the F-35B is still plagued by design problems — and there’s no guarantee if or when they’ll be resolved.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Robert Heinlein’s 1959 novel “Starship Troopers” presents a futuristic war fought by heavily armored infantry, that when suited up, makes you look like a “big steel gorilla.” Today, the U.S. Army and Marines are edging closer to the Mobile Infantry of Heinlein’s world by reportedly taking an interest in armored face shields. [...]
It’s been less than a month since the Marines flew their first robotic supply helicopter on its debut combat mission in Afghanistan. Already, the amphibious combat branch is working on the next generation of pilotless cargo copter — one that’s an order of magnitude more sophisticated, and can be controlled by an iPad or other tablet.
The Marines have begun testing K-MAX robotic supply helicopters in Afghanistan. Maj. Kyle O’Connor was kind enough to send photos.
It was June 12 in the Sangin Valley in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Marines had been fighting the Taliban all day and had suffered heavy casualties, including two killed. Several resupply convoys had been turned back by enemy attack. The Marines were running low on food, water, ammunition and medical supplies.
The cost for the Marines to fix and fly their full fleet of V-22 tiltrotors has grown by nearly two-thirds over just four years, according to a Pentagon estimate. In 2008, the Defense Department calculated the “lifetime” cost of operating 360 V-22 Osprey transports at $75 billion over roughly 30 years. Today the figure is more than $121 billion — a 61-percent increase.
For the crew of U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey number 06-0031, a lot of things went wrong on the early morning of April 9, 2010, in southern Afghanistan. A series of alleged pilot errors and possible mechanical failures sent the speedy, hybrid aircraft — which takes off and lands like a helicopter but cruises like an airplane — crashing to the ground.
Dick Spivey, one of the main advocates of the V-22 during its decades of troubled development, has apparently written a comment on my Opsrey coverage, insisting that my coverage is not worth commenting on. Do I have to explain why that’s so funny?
So I published a story at Danger Room about the Marine Corps manipulating the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor’s safety record. There’s been surprisingly little blowback. Here’s one bitter response, from someone named Mark Bradley, who may or may not be the Mark Bradley quoted in a Boeing press release regarding the Osprey,
The Marine Corps has responded to our story on the military’s apparent manipulation of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor’s safety record. “No one is more focused on the safety of the Marine V-22, or any other aircraft the Marines fly, than the Marine Corps,” a statement issued Thursday by the Corps assures, “because we know that those aircraft are flown by our Marines and carry our Marines and other coalition personnel into combat.”
It’s an aircraft with a reputation for falling from the sky. But on at least one occasion, the U.S. military’s controversial V-22 Osprey tiltrotor — a hybrid transport that takes off like a helicopter and cruises like an airplane, thanks to its rotating engine nacelles — did just the opposite. It flew upward, out of control of its pilots.