Long live current V-22 Ospreys! US military is done buying new ones

But it plans to fly the current ones for years to come.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The V-22 Osprey.jpg
The V-22 Osprey.


For nearly two decades, the V-22 Osprey has carried troops around the world but now the U.S. military claims it's done investing in the popular aircraft.

This is according to a report by Business Insider published on Friday.

The aircraft began its long journey as part of the Joint Services Advanced Vertical Lift Aircraft project in the early 1980s, whose goal was to develop an aircraft that could fly with the speed, endurance, and operational ceiling of a fixed-wing aircraft but with the additional flexibility to take off and land vertically.

The result was a strange aircraft, but its development was far from complete. The program was plagued with many significant setbacks, including several deadly crashes.

But engineers continued working on it even in the '90s and early 2000s. Finally, the Marines got their hands on their first MV-22 in 1999.

However, it wasn't until eight years later that it was deployed into combat. The U.S. Air Force got its first models in 2006 and deployed them for the first time in 2008, while the Navy got its version in 2020 and deployed it for the first time in 2021.

More than 400 models in action

Today, more than 400 Ospreys are in action. Together they have logged an estimated 600,000 flight hours since becoming operational.

The planes will not be retired, however. The Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force have clear plans to fly them for years to come. 

They simply won't be buying any new ones, according to budget documents released by the services in March. This is because military leaders believe they have all the Ospreys they could ever need.

"I don't see us actually going to additional CV-22s," Gen. Charles Brown Jr., the Air Force's chief of staff, told lawmakers in April, according to Business Insider, "because once you shut down a production line, it's very expensive to start back up."

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