V-22 Osprey

by reader ilsm

GAO Testimony 09-969T, On Cost and Performance of the V-22 Osprey.

“Availability challenges also impacted the MV-22. In Iraq, the V-22’s mission capability (MC) and full-mission capability (FMC) rates fell significantly below required levels as well as rates achieved by legacy helicopters.6 The V-22 MC minimum requirement is 82 percent, with an objective of 87 percent, compared with actual MC rates for the three squadrons of 68, 57 and 61 percent.” Pg 7.

Availability is the percent of a fleet of systems which are serviceable to be committed to military missions. The only valid way to measure availability is across fleets. Here GAO errs slightly and uses mission capability in the same paragraph; possibly because it is the metric the Navy wants to use to save face. GAO goes on to state that the required mission capability is not achieved. Mission capability is important to the individual squadron which has to perform instant operations with its assigned aircraft, which are all serviceable going into the operation. This does not account for systems in long term unserviceable condition, which are counted in availability figures.
Generally, mission capability runs 20% higher than availability, but availability is hidden on new stuff, while shouted about on older stuff, because there would be severe embarrassment if you considered that 40% of the brand new V-22 were not available (okay 60% available sounds much better, buy a car which is broke 40% of the time, how good does the warranty service need to be?).
The Navy and GAO are not sure which metrics to use. One of the reasons that US quality fell in the 70’s was avoiding measuring the hard things gets you in trouble; a weakness of the DoD acquisition process. But the spending is more important than meaningful results.
Missing mission capable suggests that basic reliability and maintenance performance are not part of V-22 repertoire. Quality may not have been affordable during the long development cycle, and the savings are now costing in added support and lost use of the V-22
Not surprising the MV-22 was deemed unsuitable in 2000. Nothing seems to have improved in the past 9 years.
A lot of reliable beaks could have been whittled and as useful as the unavailable, not mission capable V-22 taking up maintenance space.
by reader ilsm