Oh, THIS will really help: US to deploy the Osprey in Iraq

well, let me just say that you won’t catch ME in one of these.

link

The MV-22 Osprey will replace current Marine Corps assault and medium-lift helicopters. There is also an Air Force variant of the tilt-rotor craft, also known as a vertical/short takeoff and landing craft.

The Osprey has been plagued by development problems since the late 1990s. In April 2000, 19 Marines were killed in an Osprey crash in Arizona. Two other test flights killed seven crew members.

The tilt-rotor helicopter is designed to transport troops and equipment on amphibious assaults from ships and from land. Each Osprey is estimated to cost $40.1 million in fiscal 1994 dollars.

Prime contractors include Boeing Defense and Space Group, Bell Helicopter Textron and Allison Engine Co.

….

Because of the extreme downdraft of the propellers, Marines cannot rappel out the side doors as in the MH-60 series helicopters. Moreover, the engines would block the firing arc of side-mounted machine guns and so none can be fitted in these positions. As in the CH-47 and CH-53 series helicopters, Marines will use the rear ramp to exit and use the extended ramp to mount a machine gun firing out the rear.[7] A chin-mounted turret was initially proposed, but experience gained during Operation Enduring Freedom and the high cost of integration led to the adoption of the ramp mounted M240 machine gun solution.[8][9][10]

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