A V22 Osprey hard landing at the “Predators Run” army exercise
A helicopter with about 20 U.S. Marines on board has crashed off the coast of Darwin, Australia, during an international military exercise. This is what Sky News Australia reports this morning. According to local news channel ABC, there were no fatalities.
The V22 Osprey helicopter crashed Sunday around 11 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. in Belgium) near Melville Island during large-scale military exercises involving soldiers from Australia, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.
A search operation has since begun and sources told Sky News that there were “possible” casualties from the crash, as soldiers are still missing. ABC reports that several injured soldiers have been rescued. Military exercises are said to be temporarily halted.
The V-22 Osprey is an unusual aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff of a helicopter (VTOL) with the speed and range of a propeller-driven aircraft.
This year’s international army exercise “Predators Run” involves about 2,500 soldiers. Mainly Australians, but also 500 soldiers from the United States, 120 from the Philippines, 120 from Indonesia and 50 from East Timor.
In late July, an Australian army helicopter also crashed into the sea during a military exercise east of Australia near the Whitsundays Islands. All four occupants were killed.