Marines MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft lands aboard Japanese ship – Washington’s PR campaign?

Jun 18 2013 - 2 Comments
By Jacek Siminski

On Jun. 14, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey made a landing aboard a Japanese ship near U.S. West Coast.

The Osprey landed on a Japanese heli-carrier-destroyer Hyūga, during a 18-day exercise.

Taking into the consideration the unfavourable opinion of the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Japan, stemming from the crashes involving CV-22s in Florida and Morocco this is an important step forward, possibly a part of a Public Relations campaign aimed at advertising the Osprey as a safe aircraft.

A campaign that has achieved some important results, at least domestically, as Boeing has recently been awarded a $6.5 Billion Order for 99 more Ospreys: 92 MV-22s and 7 CV-22s.

The PR campaign carried out since last year included showing off  M/CV-22’s capabilities in many combat scenarios (and airshows).

It was after additional warranties were given that Japanese government accepted the fact that 12 Ospreys are to be stationed in Okinawa.

Deploying the Ospreys to Okinawa resulted in a large social protest in that region, as people were afraid one of the planes might crash in some of the densely populated areas over there.

Image credit: US Navy

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

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  • GaryLockhart

    “possibly a part of a Public Relations campaign aimed at advertising the Osprey as a safe aircraft.”

    One certainly can’t rely on “yellow journalists” to objectively report on the Osprey. William Randolph Hearst would be proud of you hacks. This was also done for the benefit of the Chicoms. A fact which sails over the head of people like Siminski, Cenciotti, Axe, Sweetman, Thompson, et al

  • Gelsomino Pasqualino

    Well, whatever the original intention in setting up this demonstration, it is clear to me that the exercise could well deliver more than one message to more than one audience. There is no question that the domestic Japanese political audience must be addressed, if for no other reason than it tends to be Anti-American when it comes to military issues. But this may again change for the better. Why? Well, there is the factor of the “800 pound gorilla in the room:” the Chinese and the plans to to expand their influence in Asian waters. Showing off the V-22 on a Japanese warship tells both audiences (Japanese and Chinese) what is possible if the need arises. Clearly the Osprey could be a valuable tool in any scenario requiring rapid lift of forces and aerial support of outlying islands and territories under dispute; furthermore, the Japanese are admirably suited to use the Osprey and even could produce a domestic version. But the need for this “controversial” aircraft has to be established first, and then the domestic audience must be satisfied that it is not simply some American gambit to sell a defective tool to the Japanese.