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Japan welcomes second pair of V-22 Ospreys at MCAS Iwakuni

A JGSDF V-22 being offloaded at MCAS Iwakuni on February 14, 2021. Photo: Screengrab

Japan welcomed its second pair of V-22 Ospreys as they arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Iwakuni, Japan, on February 14.

The first two tilt-rotor aircraft that will be operated Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) arrived in May last year.

The second batch of aircraft arrived via ship before receiving functional checks and flying to their final destination.

In November 2020, Japan became the second country after the US with the first operational flight taking off from Kisarazu Air Field on November 6.

The aircraft were ready for delivery in 2018, but were delayed due to a dispute over their basing. Local communities where the aircraft had initially been scheduled to be based protested this, citing the V-22’s “poor safety record” as their main concern.

According to latest plans, the aircraft will be based in the Chiba prefecture temporarily while negotiations for a more permanent solution are ongoing.

The V-22 is currently in service with the US Marine Corps and the Air Force Special Operations Command. CMV-22B, another version of the Osprey, is replacing the C-2A Greyhound as the navy’s carrier onboard delivery aircraft.