National Harbor, Md. -- Readiness rates over the past five years for the MV-22 Osprey have risen by 25 percent while costs per flight hour have dropped by 20 percent, said Col. Dan Robinson, the V-22 program manager.
He explained that the improvements have come after a "rigorous" maintenance improvement program that has focused on diagnosing problems before they occur. V-22s units have achieved an average readiness rate per aircraft in the "high 80s," Robinson said at the Sea Air Space Exposition here.
The V-22 program manager faced questions about how those rates were being measured after the Pentagon Inspector General said the Marine Corps had been using false reports and work orders. In the 2013 report, the Pentagon IG found that "MV-22 squadron commanders computed the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program MCR for five of the six squadrons using erroneous aircraft inventory reports and work orders."
The announcement of the improved readiness rates come as the Pentagon seeks additional international buyers for the V-22. The U.S. is in discussions with Israel along with another 10-12 countries that have a high interest level, said Robinson who would not identify the additional countries.
To highlight the Osprey, the Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the president squadron, flew the first presidential Osprey from Marine Corps Base, Quantico, to the show here on Monday morning.
The Osprey could also appear at the Farnborough Air Show in England this July as Robinson said the Pentagon is discussing the possibility. This past February, the Osprey was displayed at the Singapore Air Show where Robinson said it received interested from multiple countries.
The U.S. did not bring the Osprey to the Paris Air Show last summer because of budget cuts associated with sequestration, but former V-22 Program Manager Col. Greg Masiello announced at the show that readiness rates had improved and costs per flight hour had dropped.
At that time, he said the readiness rates had increased by 28 percent and the costs per flight hour had dropped to $9,520 - a reduction of 19 percent, according to a report by Breaking Defense.