Production of the revolutionary V-22 Osprey tiltrotor is beginning to wrap up, with shutdown of the line likely sometime in the next several years. The aircraft has proven to be as versatile as its backers predicted, supporting distinctly different missions for the Marine Corps, the Navy and the Air Force. The problem with being unique, though, is that if the joint force runs out of usable tiltrotors, no backup aircraft can do the job as effectively. So military planners need to be certain that before the production line shuts down, they have acquired enough Ospreys to meet joint demand through 2055, when the aircraft is due to retire. Any such assessment needs to factor in potential wartime attrition and new missions that might arise for the aircraft. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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