US military grounds V-22 Osprey aircraft after fatal Japan crash

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Originally published by Reuters

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Editor’s Note: This piece by  and  features a quote from CSP Senior Fellow, Grant Newhsam.

WASHINGTON/TOKYO, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Wednesday it was grounding its fleet of V-22 Osprey aircraft after a crash last week off the coast of Japan that killed eight people onboard.

Tokyo grounded its small fleet of the tilt-rotor aircraft the day after the fatal incident, which reignited controversy over its deployment. Critics in Japan have said the Boeing (BA.N) and Bell Helicopter developed Osprey is prone to accidents, although U.S. and Japanese governments reject that claim.

“If the Osprey grounding keeps going for a week or more, the inconvenience starts to become something more. And without the Osprey, training can be affected, and that affects readiness,” said Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies.

Immediately after the crash, Japan, the only other country to operate them, grounded its 14 Ospreys and asked the U.S. to suspend flights of V-22s operating in the country. The U.S. initially halted flights from the doomed aircraft’s unit but said other Ospreys would continue to fly after safety checks.

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