WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The order provides for fleet software sustainment that includes engineering and technical support for the V-22 flight control system and on-aircraft avionics software; flight test planning; and coordination of changed avionics and flight control configuration, the Defense Department explained.
The V-22 Osprey flies farther and faster than traditional helicopters, overcoming traditional combat theater challenges. Its high speeds allow for rapid rescue of downed pilots and its longer range would allow for seamless fleet repositioning in a prospective Asia-Pacific theater.
However, the V-22 has had at least seven hull-loss accidents resulting in at least 36 fatalities. Thirty fatalities occurred during testing between 1991 and 2000, and at least six other fatalities occurred in combat after the craft became operational in 2007.