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US' V-22 Osprey Aircraft Grounded Until 2025 Due To Safety Concerns

13.06.2024 16:57

Aircraft involved in numerous non combat accidents, resulting in deaths to 64 US servicemen since entering service in 2007.

The US military's V-22 Osprey transport aircraft will remain grounded until at least 2025 due to ongoing safety and performance evaluations, according to US Navy Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) official Carl Chebi.

Chebi testified Wednesday before the US House of Representatives Oversight and Accountability Committee during a hearing that focused on recent deadly crashes of the aircraft and the Defense Department's handling of the situation.

The committee noted in the past two and a half years alone, four mishaps have claimed the lives of 20 service members and destroyed four aircraft.

Chebi admitted since entering service in 2007, V-22 Ospreys have been involved in numerous non-combat accidents, resulting in the deaths of 64 US military personnel and injuries to 93.

"The immediate focus is on safety with multiple, specialized teams established to determine root cause and mitigation to rapidly improve the safety of personnel and the aircraft," said the committee.

The latest mishap occurred Nov. 29 when one crashed off the coast of Japan, killing eight airmen. Following the incident, the NAVAIR commander decided to ground all V-22s until the failure mode was understood and the aircraft could safely return to flight. After an inquiry, the V-22 was cleared for restricted flight operations on March 8.

But full unrestricted flight will not resume until rigorous engineering testing and analysis are completed, with a return to full mission capability not expected before mid-2025, in accordance with NAVAIR criteria.

Developed to fulfill the need for an aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing while transporting troops at higher speeds than a helicopter, the V-22 tiltrotor has logged more than 750,000 flight hours across all variants. -

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