US orders grounding of entire V-22 Osprey fleet

US Naval Air Systems Command has revealed that it is instituting a grounding bulletin for all V-22 Osprey variants.

Illustration; Credit: US Navy

The announcement, made on December 6, comes after the V-22 Osprey mishap on November 29, off the shore of Yakushima, Japan.

To remind, a U.S. Air Force Osprey based in Japan crashed during a training mission, killing eight people onboard.

The authority informed that preliminary investigation information indicates a potential materiel failure caused the mishap. However, the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time, it emphasized.

“While the mishap remains under investigation, we are implementing additional risk mitigation controls to ensure the safety of our service members,” NAVAIR added in its statement.

“The Joint Program Office continues to communicate and collaborate with all V-22 stakeholders and customers, including allied partners.”

Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Commander, directed the operational standdown of the Air Force CV-22 fleet.

“The standdown will provide time and space for a thorough investigation to determine causal factors and recommendations to ensure the Air Force CV-22 fleet returns to flight operations,” he noted.

Boeing’s V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight, according to Boeing.

Besides the US, Japan is also operating a fleet of V-22 Ospreys. In 2020, the country took delivery of its first V-22 Osprey aircraft.

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