The US Marine Corps has sought to play down criticism of the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey's operational readiness in a leaked Department of Defence Inspector General report. Disclosure has come at a difficult time for the programme, which is striving to recover from a fatal crash and is approaching a full rate production decision later this year.

The report says "the V-22 will not successfully demonstrate test and evaluation of key operational requirements before the milestone III full rate production decision." The shortfall is blamed on "23 operational effectiveness and suitability requirements deficiencies."

The USMC counters that all but 17 of 243 threshold requirements were met by the start of operational evaluation and none were "major" operational requirements. Waivers were requested and received for 22 non-safety related "deficiencies".

Problems include a slow wing fold mechanism, a high false alarm rate and a shortfall on the specified 1.4h meantime between failures. The USMC says there is an "approved plan in place to identify how and when the waived operational requirements will be funded, corrected and tested prior to milestone III."

Source: Flight International