I never want to begrudge someone earning a day's paycheck, but I'm sorry - I couldn't let this pass;
Things have not gone well for the Pentagon’s much-criticized acquisition system since the 9-11 attacks. The military got a lot more money for new weapons than anyone could have predicted when the new millennium began, but tens of billions of dollars were squandered on programs that either were canceled or delayed by controversy.Loren, really. You've been around long enough. I mean; dude.
However, there are a few new combat systems that stand out as successes, and the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor is arguably the most pleasant surprise. Tiltrotors are revolutionary airframes that combine the vertical agility of a helicopter with the speed, range and fuel efficiency of a fixed-wing plane. They can land pretty much anywhere, or hover over a spot for long periods, but they fly twice as far and twice as fast as the helicopters they replace.
That makes tiltrotors so versatile that the military services which already own them are rethinking how combat operations should be conducted, and the services which don’t own them are seriously considering how to find room in their budgets for tiltrotor technology.
Post 9-11? "Revolutionary?"
So, I head on over to the library. I grab my acetate protected copy of the 1986 Maritime Strategy and ... well ... BEHOLD!
There we are kids, right on page 28 with a pic of its stunt double.
1986. A decade and a half prior to 9-11.
The RFP went out in 1982, 19 yrs before 9-11. It first flew in 1989, 12-yrs prior to 9-11. An entire generation of USMC aviators passed their career waiting for this aircraft that was always just a POM away deployability.
We're here - but the hard work was all done pre-911.
Of course, Loren knows this.
This is remarkable progress for a program that was so controversial when it first began flying that Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney tried to kill it every year he held the job. Cheney managed to terminate a hundred major weapons programs during his tenure — the Cold War had just ended — but he couldn’t do in the Osprey because Congress and the Marine Corps banded together to protect it. Now, in the tenth year since Osprey first became operational, it is clear they were right and Cheney was wrong.Those years were '89-'93 for those at home keeping score.
So, why would Loren use 9-11 as a benchmark? Why is he toot'n this horn in this way?
I'll let you figure that out.