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V-22 Osprey makes inaugural rescue in Libya

Illustration for article titled V-22 Osprey makes inaugural rescue in Libya

After two U.S. pilots had to eject from their F-15E Strike Eagle fighter over Libya today, the U.S. Marines rescued one using a V-22 Osprey — the first time the massive tilt-rotor craft has been used in a combat rescue.

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The F-15E crashed while enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya; U.S. officials have said the jet crashed due to mechanical problems. While the pilot was brought by U.S. Marines aboard the USS Kearsarge, the weapons system officer was rescued by rebels before being returned to U.S. forces.

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The Osprey, which costs $100 million a copy, has long been the target of budget cutters in Washington, but has survived due to a large base of support from lawmakers representing states where its components are built.

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DISCUSSION

danger-ranger
Danger Ranger XLT

I live two miles from Patuxent River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland. In 1997, the first pre-production Osprey was delivered there. The air station served as the testing grounds for the V-22. For years, I saw these airplanes flying around on a daily basis. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen them for quite some time. Huh.