The U.S. Marines are conducting their first test flights of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft in Japan after months of protests there over safety concerns.
The hybrid aircraft can take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. Flight operations were conducted Friday at a base in southern Japan where they are temporarily deployed before being transferred to Okinawa.
Following two recent crashes, tens of thousands of Okinawans have protested the deployment, saying that they are not safe to fly in Okinawa’s crowded environment.
Read the rest of the story: US begins test flights of MV-22 Osprey in Japan.
The U.S. will delay flight operations by Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys in Okinawa until the Japanese government agrees that the hybrid aircraft is safe, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday.
Panetta told Pentagon reporters that U.S. officials are completing a safety report and will provide Japanese leaders with details on two recent Osprey crashes in Florida and Morocco.
His comments came after he met with Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto, who then left the Pentagon for a flight on an Osprey to the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va.
Read the rest of the story: US: No Osprey Flights Until Japan Agrees on Safety.
Japan’s prime minister says he will not allow any flights of the US military’s latest transport aircraft in this country until its safety after two recent crashes has been confirmed.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Parliament on Tuesday that no flights would take place until investigations into the April and June crashes were completed and Japan was satisfied the aircraft are not a safety hazard.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Says No Flights Until Osprey Confirmed Safe.
The US Defense Department says it will deploy its Osprey aircraft in Okinawa despite local opposition after recent crashes. Spokesperson George Little said on Monday the Pentagon stands behind its decision.
The United States military is planning test flights late July at its Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, before deploying the craft to Okinawas Futenma Marine air base.
Read the rest of the story: US to deploy Osprey in Okinawa as planned.