The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The V-22 originated from the United States Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor intended for military service in the world led to many years of development.
The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it supplemented and then replaced their Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey’s other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medivac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait.
USS Wasp (LHD 1) is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship. She is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name and was the flagship of the Second Fleet and the lead ship of her class. She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. USS Wasp and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach and Harrier II (AV-8B) Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) jets which provide close air support for the assault force. Wasp, which is 257 m long (843 ft) with a beam of 32 meters (105 ft), also accommodates the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.
Since 2004, in a period when all the rest of the USN’s flattops have been heavily tasked and often kept on lengthy deployments, Wasp has not been sent on an extended deployment and the ship is currently assigned to Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) testing.