via Navy Times...
Plans have been in the works to retire the F/A-18C Hornets in the mid-2020s, followed by the F/A-18E and F Super Hornets around 2035, but the consistently delayed development of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter has compelled the service to push the Hornets past their planned service lives. The dilemma raises the possibility that Super Hornets new to the fleet may still be flying in three decades.And then this...
"We might even fly these airplanes close to 2040," air warfare director Rear Adm. Mike Manazir told members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower on Monday.
"It's a complex formula of keeping our current inventory flying, getting them out of the [life extension] depots, buying enough Super Hornets to replace what we've been using every year in the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, previously, and then buying capability through JSF," Manazir said.But this is the eye opener...
"Those guys are not getting the assets they need, so I have to get them up on the step later on in the cycle, and that's a steeper learning curve," Manazir said.Here.
They are still getting the required hours to deploy, he added, but adding two or three squadrons' worth of Super Hornets in the next three years will help fill that gap.
There you have it boys and girls. The US Navy is off the JSF bandwagon and is no longer playing nice. Notice that this isn't a talk with a reporter but a question and answer with the House Armed Services Subcommittee.
The USN wants Super Hornets and with the current budget situation (despite games being played in the dark of night by Boehner) is a zero sum game.
The United States Navy is being forced, due to budget constraints, to make a choice.
They chose the Super Hornet!