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Bird of Prey: V22 Osprey Vies to Fly The Israeli Skies?

Venerable Hercules C-130 Transport & CH-53 Yasur possibly on the block?

So sayeth Haaretz, but I’m skeptical.

The air force has been debating the need to procure the V-22, an American-made transport aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing. [...]

 A debate has been ongoing within the air force on whether to procure the aircraft, with the helicopter crews favoring the option because it would significantly improve their transport capabilities. The V-22 is capable of carrying similar loads to those carried by the CH-53 helicopter, which is currently in Israel Defense Forces use, but its speed, range and maximum altitude are double those of the helicopter. So the V-22 will enable commando and rescue operation at greater distances than those currently possible.

Opposing the V-22 option are senior air force officers, especially those in charge of procurement, who support buying more advanced CH-53 helicopters and C-130 turboprop aircraft to replace the aging fleets of existing transporters of the type.

The Osprey is a unique beast with unique capabilities.

Pluses already mentioned are range, speed & capacity greater than a chopper with similar V-TOL ability. However, the Osprey itself is massively controversial. The program was almost shelved numerous times in the US & was sickeningly over budget. The Osprey is also famously difficult to fly & prone to crash due to both hardware & pilot error, still a bit unproven. We’d have to retrain heavily for its use nor would it be particularly cheap.

Boeing's V-22 Osprey - Tilt Rotor has a checkered past, it's been grounded a few times & a few have met untimely ends due to pilot error.

Boeing's V-22 Osprey - Tilt Rotor has a checkered past, it's been grounded a few times & a few have met untimely ends due to pilot error.

C-130J SuperHercules - Modernized Monsters of which Congress was notified we likey!

C-130J SuperHercules - Modernized Monsters of which Congress was notified we likey!

Further, both the C-130 Hercules & the CH-53 choppers available going forward are, or have undergone monster overhauls in the USA & are state of the art. I reported on IAF procurement plans for the HERCS here, the IAF was planning to load some of them to the gills with Special Ops electronics – It’s not clear if those spec-ops ones are on the block if the Osprey were to arrive, but doubtful as the US Congress was already notified last year of the classic ‘impending sale to Israel’ line. Equally, some of the Yasur transport choppers in Israel are undergoing modernization programs designed to carry them well into the future as posted here.

Peas in a pod?

One primary bonus is that the IAF would be in line with the US, which is in many cases using the V-22 Osprey going forward for its own special-ops transport. Haaretz states the debate is ongoing, but the procurement officers prefer HERCS & Yasurs. If one were to wager, I’d say maybe we pick up a couple of V-22s for kicks.. But maintaining HERC supply lines, Yasur supply lines, pilot training & general infrastructure plus adding all new supplies training & infrastructure needs for V-22s seems like a classic army / air force clusterfark (pardon my military lingo).

CH-53D, otherwise known as the Yasur here in Israel can disgorge around 20 troops prepped for terrorist killing

CH-53D, otherwise known as the Yasur here in Israel can disgorge around 20 troops prepped for terrorist killing

Personally, I’ll believe it when I see one fly over my apartment or perhaps the beach – In both cases one can routinely see the occasional Yasur doing just that..

  • randy

    Thank you for always providing thoughtful content. I also thought I’d share this…

    Good For The Jews with special guests DeLeon and comedians Morgan Murphy, Seth Herzog, and Rachel Sklar is happening at the Highline Ballroom tonight! It’s going to be a great time, hope to see you there!
    Dec. 7, 2009
    Concert starts @ 8PM
    Doors open @ 6PM
    Tickets $15.00

    Discount code: GFTJ

    The hilarious music duo Good For the Jews bring their national tour to New York for a night of unorthodox music and comedy on December 7, the minus-fifth night of Hanukkah.

    GOOD FOR THE JEWS:

    Jewish music for people who don’t like Jewish music.

    No songs about dreidels.

    And no Israeli folk-dancing.

    “Good For the Jews is a hilarious musical act. Don’t miss them.” National Public Radio

    “Like Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart, Good For the Jews is wickedly hilarious.” Village Voice

    “Good For the Jews: a Jewish Flight of the Conchords.” Denver Westword

    “Like Adam Sandler with a few additional IQ points.” The Onion

    “Good For the Jews is part of the sharp new culture presented by such talents as Jon Stewart, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Sarah Silverman.” Washington Post

    DeLEON makes “Spanish-Jewish indie rock” by infusing 15th hcentury folk music with the entrancing cadences of the ancient Sephardic tradition. They have toured with Gogol Bordello and recently completed a 20-city tour with Brazilian legends Os Mutantes.

    MORGAN MURPHY has been a writer for the TV shows Crank Yankers and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She has performed standup comedy on Premium Blend and Last Call with Carson Daly, and is currently writing for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

    SETH HERZOG has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chappelle’s Show, and VH1’s Best Week Ever.

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  • Arie Stein

    V22? G-d forbid. The USMC is having all sorts of problems with this aircraft that are being covered up by the leadership. Only the CH-53K can do the job of a Yasur better than a Yasur. But that won’t be available for years since it is currently being designed and the prototypes are being manufactured as I write. By the way, you seem like a nice jewish boy – care to meet my daughter in Boston?

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