A Nice Fit for Japan?

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Lance Cpl. Alexander Quiles,USMC

U.S. and Japanese personnel watch as a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey – wings, rotors and engines folded — is brought below decks on the helicopter carrier JS Hyuga.

It was the first time that a V-22 has landed on a Japanese warship.

Japan’s self defense forces are interested in acquiring Ospreys, both for humanitarian operations and defense of Japan’s remote southwest islands, some of which are claimed by China.  The Hyuga flight, which took place Friday during a joint U.S.-Japan amphibious-warfare exercise off the coast of southern California, was designed to ensure that the aircraft can safely operate from Japanese warships.

The MV-22 can fly farther, faster and with a greater payload than a standard helicopter, but does not need a runway to land or take off. The Marines began operating a squadron of Osprey’s from a base in Okinawa last year, generating protests from local residents over noise and safety concerns.