What do I think when I see the current ideas being tossed around to arm the MV-22? I think we're going back in the past and doing an Army version of the ACH-47 Chinook Guns a Go Go.
I see the same issues. We're talking about an airplane thats bigger than the CH-46 being used in the direct attack role. We're not talking about a fast airplane...the MV-22 is helicopter fast but it isn't attack jet/helicopter nimble. Its as big as a barn and if you're talking about it getting low to hit targets its going to get shot out of the sky.
What is needed is suppressive fire when it goes into and out of landing zones. Its design makes this hard but instead of accepting the fact that it IS hard and doing the work anyway, we're coming up with gimmicks. This is unsat.
Mark my words on this one Tribe Members. Putting rockets on the side of the MV-22 might look cool to many but it won't solve the problem. The MV-22 will still be vulnerable entering/exiting landing zones. Don't believe me? Ask the US Navy SEALs. via NextNavy
Does the airframe lack the ability to adequately suppress ground fire? One of the reasons the CV-22 may not be a good piece of kit for complex urban environments is simply that the aircraft lacks weaponry. In Afghanistan, the MV-22’s bolt-on Belly-Mounted Chain Gun was, at best, a heavy, nausea-inducing technical kludge (which was never used), and the tail ramp gun was a weak interim solution. But compared to the old MH-53M Pave Low’s ample armament, the stock, off-the-shelf CV-22 (assuming these haven’t been modified by the spooks too much) haslittle to suppress local fire by itself. Without excellent ISR and something overhead/alongside to support, the Osprey is not something I’d want to be flying into a potentially hot LZ (leaving is a different matter entirely).Hooper is like other Defense Media...he's connected so he has to be polite. I can be actual and factual. The idea that the military is "figuring out" how to use a piece of gear that it bought almost 20 years ago is mind numbing.
A baby gunship (and–cough–far better intelligence collection/coordination from/with the diplomats on the ground-cough.) might be a nice addition to any future CV-22-backed NEO Mission Package in a relatively insecure environment.
Is the airframe sufficiently armored? It will be interesting to hear who got shot where and with what. If it was a lucky shot into the open rear of the aircraft that caused casualties, then, it’s a regrettable (and probably unavoidable) accident. If it’s something else…something sufficient to, say, ventilate the passenger/cargo area with a bunch of holes, that might be a sign the CV-22 is under-armored (And, if an AK-47 round penetrated the passenger/cargo area, we’ve got REAL problems). Again, as an OMFTS platform, the underlying understanding in development was that this platform would avoid flying into somebody’s crosshairs.
The other worry is that the CV-22 is bumping up against weight margins. It is no secret that the V-22–like every platform–got a bad case of developmental bloat, and that now, for every cool gadget that goes onto the airframe, something has to be taken off. If armor was taken off–or reduced–over the course of development, then, again, this may not be the right tool for an unaccompanied approach to an uncertain or contested LZ in a complex environment.
I would be interested to compare MH-53M protection with the CV-22.
Who buys something with the idea of figuring out how to use it? The very idea that that meme has been allowed to be used without challenge annoys me to no end. It applies to other kit too. Remember the MLP? We have to figure out how to use it! The F-35? Our aviators are figuring out how to use it! That is insanity that's been allowed and I don't understand why.
But back on task. The current idea of arming the MV-22 is a non-starter. Someone has to tell the truth so I guess its up to me.
The crazy thing?
There were concepts to build "baby gunships" based on the XV-15. In hindsight it might have been better to fully work the concept and build to that concept than this hodgepodge of mixed, incompatible fleets that we have now.