US Navy Boosts F-18 Jets Readiness From Less Then 50% To 76% In 18 Months - Vice Chief
Sumaira FH 6 days ago Tue 16th April 2019 | 11:44 PM
Readiness rates for the US Navy fleet of F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets peaked at 76 percent last week, a milestone in a campaign to recover from estimates just 18 months ago that less than 50 percent of the jets were capable of flying on any given day, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran in an address on Tuesday
"Last week we hit 76 percent up [ready to fly] as a running ten-day average, but this is like watching your heartbeat rate," Moran told guests at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The very next day we dropped back down. But what we are seeing is that the highs are getting higher and the lows are getting higher, so the overall trend is in a very good position.
The increased readiness rate is significant given a goal set by former Defense Secretary James Mattis for 80 percent of strike fighters in all services to be ready to fly by October 1, 2019, Moran said.
The Vice Chief attributed the improvement not only to having a bigger budget, but also to meetings with officials and mechanics at commercial aviation facilities, where the US Navy questioned how 99.9 percent of jets are always ready to fly.
Moran acknowledged that military jets are far more complicated than commercial counterparts, but also due to lessons applied from airlines, which have allowed the US Navy to better manage an end-to-end supply chain of replacement parts.