via National Defense Magazine.
“There are a couple of other customers that might pay the kind of premium we’re talking about here, but not many,” he said.Read the whole article but one thing is becoming crystal clear.
The premium being paid for is $70 million per aircraft. What buyers receive in return is speed. The Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command, the program’s first two customers, have a need to transport troops and equipment quickly and at farther ranges than conventional lift helicopters, he said.
According to a 2014 Teal Group report on the V-22, the program in its early years estimated 400 to 600 foreign sales. “That number now looks quite far fetched,” the report said.
Aboulafia said beyond the Japan sale, Israel looks like it may buy about six of the aircraft. South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar could also buy V-22s. “It’s hard to imagine other customers emerging,” he said.
The so-called “ownership” cost of flying the V-22, which factors in all expenses and divides it by the number of hours the aircraft flies per year, is more than $83,000 per hour, according to Air Force data obtained by the Project on Government Oversight in 2013. A stripped down calculation of flight cost per hour including fuel, personnel costs and such is about $11,000 per hour, a 2009 Government Accountability Office report said. That is double what the program originally anticipated, the report said.
Aboulafia said the two manufacturers were never able to bring the aircraft’s costs down significantly to make it attractive to foreign buyers. “The cost curve didn’t move much. … We’re probably not going to do better than we see today. It’s just a difficult and expensive plane to build and clearly an expensive plane to operate and pay for.”
The USMC is not going to be able to afford its air wing at this rate. We WILL see a come to Jesus moment....hard choices will have to be made and this scheme that is being carried out will be dismantled. The only thing I'm left to wonder about is whether it will be the Marine Corps, the DoD or Congress that forces the issue.