What a/c in the Marine Corps inventory will take the place of the 46 in the following situations.
1: Emergency Medevac when the casualties can't be transported to a secure area for p/u by the 22?
2: If we get involved in jungle warfare or anywhere else that wheeled or tracked vehicles can't be used, who will resupply troops in need of food and/or ammo, medevac etc.
3: If the 22 will be used in an emergency, how will they protect themselves if they have to hover or sit in a hot zone while loading or unloading troops, cargo, medevacs etc.
5: As I understand it, because of cost, the "22" is not to be used in these situations. How much is a marine's life worth.
6: The C 130 seems to be able to accomplish most of what the 22 can do. No verticle t"o or landing but can do short field t/o and landings and can haul a bunch more than the "22".
I understand the 46 needs to be replaced. What I don't understand is why our Marine Corps has put all of its eggs in what I deem to be a boondoggle of epic proportions. Even the Army decided the helicopter was better than this. Hell the Air Force, I'm sure loves it because they love expensive toys.
IMO our marine Corps would be much better of keeping more helicopter squadrons albeit with new, better helicopters.
Keep a few squadrons of the "22" to save face and do what they're capable of.
I see this boondoggle as a danger to our marines in the field, not because of their flight record, but because of what they Can't do for our marines in the field. I hat it that we'll end up depending on the Army to handle our life and death issues. I remember going into zones in Viet Nam that Army medevac a/c deemed to dangerous. I don't remember our pilots in HMM 161, 68/69, refusing to try in life and death situations.