Israeli air force to take second look at V-22 Osprey

Tel Aviv
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The Israeli air force is again evaluating the possible purchase of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.

In 2009 the force stopped the evaluation after two years of work.

But in a rare statement to the air force magazine, Maj Gen David Barki, head of the helicopter air division, said that the air force is considering future procurement of the V-22. "It is not included in the multi-year plan that will terminate next year. But one option that we consider for the future, is the V-22. This aircraft can give us operational capabilities that we don't have today."

Israeli experts say that the new interest in the V-22 is for fast deployment of Special Forces troops and medical evacuation.

Meanwhile, the V-22 fleet has surpassed 100,000 flight hours. The milestone arrived on 10 February during a US Marine Corps MV-22 combat mission in Afghanistan.

"The V-22 is proven and forward-deployed, supporting combat operations and responding to contingency operations around the world," says US Marine Corps Col Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office at Naval Air Systems Command.

"The Osprey brings unprecedented range, speed and survivability to the warfighter and will continue to excel in combat and remain ready, effective and survivable," he says.