A helicopter crash during military exercises in Australia has resulted in the deaths of three US marines, while 20 others sustained injuries. The incident involved an MV-22B Osprey, a hybrid aircraft that combines helicopter and turbo-prop plane features, which crashed while en route to the remote Tiwi islands north of Darwin.
The marines were participating in the “Predators Run” exercise, which included troops from the US, Australia, the Philippines, East Timor, and Indonesia.
The helicopter crash occurred on Melville Island, north of the Northern Territory capital Darwin, with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressing his condolences and vowing to provide all necessary assistance to the injured. The injured marines were treated on-site and then transported to Darwin for further medical attention.
This tragic incident marks the second fatal helicopter crash during joint military exercises in northern Australia in less than a month. On July 29, four Australian soldiers were presumed dead after their 45 MRH-90 Taipan helicopter crashed off the coast of Queensland during Exercise Talisman Sabre, a large-scale bilateral military training exercise between Australia and the US.
The Osprey aircraft has faced scrutiny due to its history of accidents. In the past, it has been involved in fatal crashes, including incidents in Norway and northern Australia. The Osprey’s unique design allows it to travel at higher speeds than conventional helicopters, but its history of accidents has raised concerns about its safety and reliability.