Despite playing a crucial role in both conventional and special-ops missions, the V-22 Osprey, a distinctive and contentious aircraft that has served the US military for two decades, may be nearing the end of its operational life due to maintenance issues and a lack of plans to purchase more.
The V-22 Osprey, a unique and controversial aircraft that has served the US military for two decades, may be nearing the end of its operational life. The Osprey, with its distinctive design featuring two main rotors that swivel for takeoff and landing and forward for horizontal flight, was developed in the early 1980s to create an aircraft that could fly with the speed, endurance, and operational ceiling of a fixed-wing aircraft while being able to take off and land vertically. Despite its troubled development, the Osprey has played a key role in conventional and special-ops missions, with its CV-22 variant being a staple of the US special-operations community. However, maintenance problems and issues with the clutch have plagued the Osprey, with all three services grounding some of their Ospreys to replace a component related to the clutch. While the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force plan to fly their Ospreys for decades to come, none plan to buy more of them, signaling the end of the Osprey’s production line.