Saturday, December 01, 2018

Operating cost for the F-35 has to come down at the same time that mission capable rates must ramp up by ONE year!!!!

via Breaking Defense.
 The top Pentagon buyer said today the operating cost for the F-35 has to come down at the same time that mission capable rates must ramp up by double-digits. And it needs to happen in less than a year.

“Cost per flight hour needs to come down to fourth-generation [aircraft] levels and the availability needs to come up to 80 percent,” Ellen Lord told the Association of Old Crows electronic warfare conference this morning.

F-35 program head Vice Adm. Mat Winter, said in October that the crucial operating costs of the F-35 dropped significantly in 2017. The costs of operating the F-35 fleet dropped by $1.1 million “per tail per year across the fleet” and cited “a reduction of $12,000 per flight hour across the fleet.”

It was the latest in a long line of calls from Lord and other Pentagon officials to slash F-35 operating costs while the Air Force and Navy continue to spend tens of billions to buy more aircraft. The latest available data has the F-35 hanging around at about 55 percent availability, making Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ Pentagon-wide call for most fighters to hit the 80 percent mark by next September a tall order. But Lord said she can get it done.

However, there is a very wide spread in readiness rates for the F-35 fleet, depending on when they were built. Generally speaking, the older an F-35 is, the lower its readiness rates.
Story here.

This is stunning.  A couple of things....

*  No way in hell you can do that in one year.  The fleet will be pencil whipped into compliance with the directive. 

*  Did you catch the part about "older" F-35's being less mission ready than those built later?  They're setting up the plan to discard or turn those jets into parts birds but they'll probably strike them from the roster.

One last thing.

Have you noticed one other thing?  The focus of the entire directive seems aimed at the F-35.  What about the other aircraft in our fleet?  The MV-22, KC-130, F-22, B-2 and other aircraft all need a solid look-see.

We are becoming aviation centric across the board with lethality in the ground forces eroding in favor of calling for fire from aircraft. 

The idea that many won't be able to answer that call should be chilling.

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