Waiting for the MV-22: Making the CH-46E Last
MARINE CORPS WAR COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
Although the Marine Corps has funded programs to enhance the capabilities of the CH-46E, it is not enough. The Marine Corps needs to undertake initiatives that will increase the longevity of the CH-46E in case the MV-22 program suffers another delay or setback. The MV-22 is the chosen replacement for the CH-46E. The Marine Corps has made the MV-22 its number one acquisition priority. Despite the priority given to it by the Marine Corps, the MV-22 program still has several key milestones to meet before its Initial Operating Capability IOC. The IOC is scheduled for 2001, the first deployment of an MV-22 squadron is scheduled for 2004 or 2005. This means that the CH-46E will continue to provide the bulk of the medium lift assault support for the Marine Corps well into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The Marine Corps should take steps now to guard against the possibility that the service life of the CH-46 will get extended due to an unexpected delay in the MV-22 program. To do this, initiatives aimed at the reduction of utilization, and improvement of the material condition of the aircraft should be undertaken.