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On Nov. 4, a New York Times editorial, Some Sense on Defense Spending, praises SecDef Gates and the President for curbing spending on defense programs like the F-22 and the C-17. And then there's a little bitty sentence that's buried far down in the copy: "And they are going to have to be even bolder next year: pressing Congress to halt production of the V-22 Osprey."What?Why would Congress halt production of the V-22 now? Hasn't that ship already sailed (quite literally in the case of the V-22's deployment aboard the Bataan)? Sure, the House Oversight Committee called for a halt to production, but their outrage gained little traction. The aircraft is fielded and flying. What would detractors suggest replace the V-22 were its production canceled? There are no new platforms anywhere on the horizon.I've followed V-22 since 1992, and have panned the Osprey numerous times myself. I certainly don't think it's an aircraft without faults. But the Marines have been working rigorously, especially lately, to iron out the problems. They're hopelessly devoted to the capabilities the aircraft provides them.And it sounds like other services are too. Rumblings of interest from the Air Force and Army may well expand the aircraft's use in the next decade.The editorial notes the cancellation of V-22 production would be considered a "bold move" on the part of the President. But the New York Times doesn't really explain why. Or offer up an idea for what would replace the aircraft.Love it or hate it, the V-22 is operational. Trying to halt the program now would be counterintuitive.
ar99, New York Times, V-22
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