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It was with some pleasure that I read the correction you printed in the Nov. 24 edition of The Buffalo News for the editorial on the V-22 Osprey that appeared in the Nov. 22 edition. This correction only serves to underscore the inaccuracies and irresponsibilities of the original editorial.

The V-22 is more than a "troop plane". It is a multipurpose, medium lift, over-the-horizon, assault aircraft. In addition to being capable of ferrying troops and supplies from ship to shore under assault conditions, it can be configured for medical evacuation, direct ground support, anti-submarine warfare, air-sea rescue and drug interdiction.

The need for the V-22 was sorely pointed out during the recent Marine Corps training exercise in Saudi Arabia where, under heavy seas, an amphibious assault was aborted.

The vibration problems of the V-22 are not unique and are shared by similar aircraft -- namely helicopters. The solution is to install vibration dampers and these add weight to the aircraft.

Flight testing has greatly reduced this overweight condition and has resulted in a prototype more nearly in accord with design specifications.

Your editorial goes on to refer to the General Accounting Office study labeling the V-22 a "high risk" to rush into production. This is typical, conservative, bean-counter boondoggling. The V-22 has been undergoing flight testing since 1988 and has amassed approximately 200 flight hours under heavy scrutiny and limited funding.

Those who have flown the aircraft have been enthusiastic about the V-22's performance and capabilities.

Not stated in your editorial is the fact that the V-22 has been the subject of three other studies that concluded that the V-22 outperforms all other alternatives in terms of cost effectiveness, speed, range and most importantly, survivability. One of these studies was recently conducted by the Institute for Defense Analyses at the request of Congress.

Instead of acting like a bunch of ignorant spendthrifts as you infer, I feel that Congress has acted with restraint, knowledge and an abiding need to provide for the security of our nation.

Finally, you totally ignored the very real question of foreign competition.

The V-22 does not deserve to be shot down as you propose but rather to be supported and allowed to soar.


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