Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Three Out of Four U.S. Marine Strike Aircraft Are Grounded
Dave Majumdar, National Interest: 74 Percent of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Strike Fighter Fleet Can't Fight
The United States Navy has awarded Boeing a new contract to help resolve serious readiness problems with its F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet fleets.
The Department of the Navy’s (DON) strike fighter squadrons are in a dire situation where—at least at last report during Congressional testimony on Feb.7, 2017—more than 62 percent of the service’s fighters are for all intents and purposes grounded. Of that total, the Marine Corps’ strike fighter fleet—which is composed mostly of older original model F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornets—is in even worse shape with as many as 74 percent of its jets not ready for war.
The DON is taking steps to resolve the problem, which is the cumulative result of years of overuse and funding disruptions that stem from the 2011 Budget Control Act. Additionally, in the case of the Marine Corps, the service made some very poor decisions on aircraft procurement—betting its future on the on-time arrival of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
The solution to the problem is to increase the purchase of spare parts and push aircraft through depot maintenance faster. This new $238 million contract extension with Boeing to upgrade additional F/A-18s for the Navy and Marine Corps is part of that overall effort. The company’s Cecil Field facility will perform high flight-hour inspections, periodic maintenance inspections, in-service repair and modifications, upgrades and other engineering work for the aircraft.
Read more ....
WNU Editor: Talk about poor decisions on aircraft procurement and maintenance.