To view articles in English only, click HERE. 日本語投稿のみを表示するにはここをクリック。点击此处观看中文稿件한국어 투고 Follow Twitter ツイッターは@PeacePhilosophy and Facebook ★投稿内に断り書きがない限り、当サイトの記事の転載は許可が必要です。このブログの右サイドバーにある Contact Us フォームで連絡ください。Re-posting from this blog requires permission unless otherwise specified. Please use the Contact Us form in the right side-bar to contact us.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stop building V-22 Osprey facilities in Okinawa! 危険で高価:米国も調達中止するかもしれないオスプレイ配備のためのヘリパッド、基地建設は直ちに中止すべき

This post introduces two recent news from the US on V-22 Osprey in Japanese: one over the Air Force generals' disagreements over the cause of the combat crash in Afghanistan last April; and the over on the Center for American Progress recommendation to cancel the Osprey program, due to cost and technical unreliability. See the links and text of the news in English below.

V-22 Osprey: from Air Force Times
沖縄の海兵隊基地に配備される計画といわれ、その危険性を指摘されているV-22オスプレイは2010年4月9日アフガニスタンで、初めて実戦による事故が報告されている。2人の犠牲者を出したそのときの墜落について、米軍内で、エンジンのトラブルかパイロットのミスかでトラブルになっているという報道があった。(下記参照)事故調査の責任者、空軍准将ドナルド・ハーベルは、8月に報告書を書いた後、9月に退職している。『エア・フォース・タイムズ』の12月28日、1月5日のインタビューに答え、「自分の頭脳もハートもこれはエンジントラブルだと確信している」と語った。自分の書いた報告書を変更するような重圧が相当あったとのことだ。ハーベルの報告を受けたカート・シチョウスキ中将は証拠不十分等の理由で反論を出していたが、結果的には報告書を承認したという。

また、2月2日、民主党系のシンクタンク「センター・フォー・アメリカン・プログレス」は米国の財政難を受けて「2015年までに3578億ドル節約する方法」として軍事予算を削減する10案を出しているが(下記参照)、その中に「V-22オスプレイプログラムを中止する」というのがある。他の機種に比べコストが5倍かかることと、技術上の問題が絶えないオスプレイは、ディック・チェイニーも国防長官時代に「失敗作だ」として4度も調達中止を勧めたという。

オスプレイについては、1月27日の投稿でも、琉球新報等が報道したように、アラバマの民間空港で空軍が演習したところ住民から苦情が殺到したということと、国防省が数々の部品の欠陥を指摘する報告書が出していることを伝えた。

こういった状況の中で、沖縄の東村高江(ひがしそん・たかえ)の住民の根強い反対にも関わらず、海兵隊北部訓練場にオスプレイ対応のヘリパッド建設の作業を強行している、そして辺野古に「普天間代替」という名目でオスプレイ対応の新基地を作ろうとしている日米政府は一体どういうつもりなのか。昨年秋までオスプレイ配備の計画さえ国民に隠し続けた日本政府は、当然ながら辺野古や高江の新施設計画に向けた環境アセスメントでもオスプレイ配備を想定していない。アメリカでさえその危険性を認め、調達を中止するかもしれないオスプレイ配備のための工事強行は異常であり、違法であり、今すぐやめさせなければいけない。

高江における工事の強行と住民や支援者の抵抗については、ブログ『やんばる東村 高江の現状』で随時報告されている。実際に座り込みに行けなくてもできることの情報も満載である。2月22日にはまた東京でもデモが予定されている。

PP

オスプレイ調達中止を訴える「センター・フォー・アメリカン・プログレス」のウェブサイト

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/responsible_defense_cuts.html
Cancel the V-22 Osprey program ($10-12 billion by 2020)


The V-22 Osprey helicopter has been long hampered by cost overruns and technical problems. Opposition to the program is bipartisan: the co-chairs of President Obama’s 2010 deficit commission recommended ending procurement of the V-22; during his stint as secretary of defense, Dick Cheney attempted to cancel the program four times, calling it a “turkey.” Like the EFV, technical problems have seriously impaired the Osprey’s performance. A May 2009 Government Accountability Office report found that “in Iraq, the V-22’s mission capability (MC) and full mission capability (FMC) rates fell significantly below… rates achieved by legacy helicopters.” Given the V-22’s high price tag—it costs five times as much as other models—and lackluster performance, there is no reason for DOD to continue sinking money into this turkey. Terminating the program would save $10-12 billion in the next decade.
 
http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/01/air-force-generals-clash-on-osprey-crash-012211w/

以下、2010年4月のアフガン実戦でのオスプレイ事故についての関係者の意見の相違についての記事。

Generals clash on cause of April Osprey crash

By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jan 22, 2011 10:12:48 EST

In a rare public display of disunity, two generals are at serious odds over the cause of a fatal aircraft accident.

The April 9 crash in Afghanistan was the first loss of a CV-22 Osprey in combat. Two of the three cockpit crew members — pilot Maj. Randell Voas, 43, and flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey, 45 — died attempting a night landing at a desert landing zone. The co-pilot survived; he has not been indentified. Also killed were a soldier and a contractor — two of 16 passengers in the cargo compartment.

Brig. Gen. Donald Harvel, president of the accident investigation board, said he believes engine problems brought down the special operations Osprey on its landing approach. Lt. Gen. Kurt Cichowski, to whom Harvel answered during the investigation, argues aircrew errors caused the crash.

Harvel cited engine problems in his report; Cichowski wrote a dissent that he released with the report Dec. 15.

Cichowski, a fighter pilot, declined to comment on the dispute. He is now the CIA’s associate director for military affairs; Harvel, a mobility pilot, spoke with Air Force Times over the telephone Dec. 28 and Jan. 5 from his home near Atlanta. He retired in September from the Air National Guard and now works for Delta Air Lines.

“There was absolutely a lot of pressure to change my report,” Harvel said. “My heart and brain said it was not pilot error. I stuck with what I thought was the truth.”

Harvel said Air Force Special Operations Command wanted him to cite the cause of the crash as pilot error because AFSOC didn’t want old doubts stirred up about the safety of the Osprey program, which had three fatal crashes of prototypes and the Marine Corps variant from 1992 to 2000. The Air Force variant has had one other serious accident, caused when an engine bolt vibrated loose during takeoff. The CV-22, though, managed to land safely.

AFSOC declined to comment on Harvel’s accusation. At the time of the April 9 crash and during the investigation, Cichowski was AFSOC’s vice commander.

The dispute will never be resolved because no irrefutable evidence exists to substantiate either explanation: no black box and no eyewitness testimony.

The CV-22’s flight data recorder probably ended up in little pieces when the service destroyed the Osprey hours after the crash. The airmen and soldiers stripping the wreckage of evidence and classified items before the explosion didn’t know the aircraft had a black box, according to the report.

As for firsthand knowledge of what went on inside the cockpit, the surviving co-pilot told investigators he didn’t have a clear memory of the flight’s last 30 seconds.

Harvel came to his conclusion from watching a video of the CV-22 from a camera onboard an A-10 Thunderbolt that was part of the mission. The footage shows haze coming out of both engines throughout the last 17 seconds of flight; Harvel is convinced the “unidentified contrails,” as they are described in the report, are fuel vapors from engines trying to restart. The Air Force did not release the images.

The stresses of flying in the dirt and dust of Afghanistan probably caused the engine problems, Harvel said.

When maintainers checked the power level of the engines April 6, the right one operated at 95.3 percent and left one ran at 99.5 percent. When an engine fell below 95 percent, it had to be repaired or replaced.

After the power check, the Osprey made four more landings at austere sites. On one, the screening system that protected the left engine from blowing sand failed. Each landing would have reduced engine performance, Harvel said.

“Degraded engines could have led to engine failure, surge/stall or insufficient power when a high power demand was required,” he said, adding that he believes the aircrew members knew about the engine problems and flew the Osprey as best they could to a rolling landing. The CV-22 touched down at 88 mph, the report said; it should have landed like a helicopter, with little forward speed.

The plane’s landing gear absorbed some of the impact, with the tires digging eight inches into the desert sand. The plane rolled and bounced for more than 200 feet until it reached a drainage ditch. As the plane’s nose dipped into the ditch, the Osprey flipped over and began breaking apart before coming to a stop 50 feet away.

In his dissent, Cichowski cited several factors ruling out engine failure:

•No one onboard the Osprey or in radio contact with it heard any discussions about engine problems or warnings from the cockpit.

•An analysis of the recovered left engine showed it was working. The right engine was not recovered.

•The V-22 Joint Program Office, which oversees Air Force and Marine Corps Ospreys, concluded engine failure was highly unlikely.

•The crew made several errors, including the pilot flying too high and too fast in his approach; the failure to obtain a weather report warning of a 17 mph tailwind; distraction over unexpected lighting at the landing zone; and self-imposed pressure to make the mission a success.

Typically, the senior officer who convenes the accident investigation board — Cichowski in this case — agrees with the board president’s opinion.

If the senior officer disagrees with the report, he can ask the board president to consider new evidence. Usually the review resolves the differences.

Cichowski received Harvel’s report Aug. 25. On Sept. 30, Cichowski received an analysis from the joint V-22 Program Office that suggested the report underestimated the CV-22’s speed when it crashed.

In a memo dated Oct. 5, Cichowski stated he accepted the report but believed there wasn’t enough evidence to support the conclusion that at least one engine malfunctioned.

Next, the report and Cichowski’s dissent went to Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who in the early 1980s served as an MC-130E Combat Talon pilot in the same squadron as the Osprey crew — the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

On Nov. 15, Schwartz ordered Harvel to review the program office analysis. Harvel spent three days, Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, studying the new information but still came away convinced that engine problems caused the crash.

Despite his strong disagreement with Harvel’s conclusion, Cichowski signed off on the report Nov. 23 because Air Force accident investigation rules left him little choice.

With the investigation finally wrapped up, AFSOC leaders began meeting with families and survivors to explain the conclusions. Usually, the board president handles the duty, but Harvel was not invited.

Harvel was not asked to meet with the service members and families because he had retired, said AFSOC spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Villagran.

Harvel sees the exclusion as AFSOC’s snub of his opinion.

“I thought that they were very wrong not to let me brief the families,” he said. “I had gathered a lot of insight and took extra notes to brief personal stories to each family. I even volunteered to brief the families at no expense to the government. Still, they never even acknowledged me.”

***********************************************

No comments:

Post a Comment