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Author Topic: Babbin: our war planes are wearing out  (Read 1249 times)

Offline quiller

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Babbin: our war planes are wearing out
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:57:26 AM »
Jed Babbin, undersecretary of defense under George H.W. Bush, has some sobering news for Congress, if they think our military air superiority will hold out much longer.

In February, the Navy confirmed that 74 percent of the Marines’ F/A-18s — 208 of 280 aircraft — are incapable of flying combat missions.

Navy aircraft aren’t in much better shape. Sixty-two percent of the Navy’s F/A-18s are unfit for combat. About six of the Navy’s 37 attack squadrons have insufficient aircraft ready for combat.

On April 2, the Air Force Times reported that the Air Force has about 30 percent of its aircraft that are unready for combat. According to that report, the Air Force has only about 5,430 aircraft, which means more than 1,600 are not combat-ready.

Lt. Gen. David Deptula, retired from the U.S. Air Force, is a real warrior. I asked him what the readiness condition means. He said, “It means the USAF would be hard pressed to bring the air forces to bear necessary to win in any major regional war. The more relevant statistic is that today the USAF has almost 60 percent fewer combat-coded fighter squadrons than we did when we fought Desert Storm — 134 in 1991, 55 today.”

Gen. Deptula pointed me to the Air Force’s May 2016 “Air Superiority Flight Plan.” He said it boils down to the fact that “The Air Force’s projected force structure in 2030 is not capable of fighting and winning against the array of potential adversary capabilities.”

Refit costs for existing aircraft are becoming so high that the cost of a new F-35 doesn’t seem so frightening after all.


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