F-35 & F-22 will miss 80% MC Rate target

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post17 Jul 2019, 00:12

The F-22 & F-35 will miss the 80% MC Rate mandate by FY2019, F-16 & F-18 should make it.

The F-35 issue is specifically tied to the canopy and it's related part shortage.

Prepared Q&A for confirmation session in the Senate.

Q: In September 2018, then-Secretary of Defense Mattis ordered the Air Force and Navy to increase mission capable rates for the F-35, F-22, F-16, and F-18 inventories to above 80 percent by the end of September 2019. In addition, Secretary Mattis directed the Military Services to achieve demonstrable reductions in operating and maintenance costs on all four platforms, beginning in FY 2019.

What progress has the Department made in increasing mission capable rates and decreasing costs for all four platforms?


The Air Force has improved mission-capable rates for the F-16 fleet by increasing parts supplies and adding maintenance shifts, and is expected to meet the 80 percent goal. The F-22 fleet is still challenged by the lack of low-observable maintenance capacity, exacerbated by the extreme damage at Tyndall Air Force Base from the effects of Hurricane Michael. Although F-22 mission-capable rates are improving, the fleet is not expected to achieve the 80 percent goal this year. Improving mission capable rates for both fleets required additional funding investment for this fiscal year. The Navy is on track to meet its FY19 goal of 80 percent mission capable F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G by September 2019. Aircrew qualifications (flight hour execution) hit a high for FY19 in May. To meet the 80% goal and readiness recovery objectives, the Navy has taken the following actions: established Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) to coordinate maintenance activities and optimize resources; instituted Organizational-level and Depot-level (Fleet Readiness Center) reforms improving the processes for 150-Day and 80-Day periodic inspections; improved maintenance squadron manning (fit, fill, and experience level) and improved processes for component production; instituted supply chain reform eliminating issues driven by fragmentation of data across multiple sources/functions; and coordinated deployment of engineering and supply chain resources to address top-degraders.

The F-35 fleet is not expected to make the 80 percent goal. Transparency (canopy) supply shortages continue to be the main obstacle to achieving this. We are seeking additional sources to fix unserviceable canopies.

Q: If confirmed, specifically what would you do to expedite progress toward achieving the goals set by Secretary Mattis?


I understand the Air Force is examining and investing in a number of commercial best practices, such as conditions-based maintenance, to increase mission capability rates, improve readiness, and reduce sustainment costs across all aircraft fleets. If confirmed, I intend to press for higher mission


Esper_APQs_07-16-19[1].pdf
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Unread post17 Jul 2019, 20:29

Just listening through the confirmation hearing that generated the above PDF. Nothing new about the F-35 so far but geesh... Elizabeth Warren took the opportunity to basically campaign from the floor as she blasted Sec. Esper on his work for Raytheon, being a lobbyist, basically having a Raytheon retirement benefit (deferred compensation), not going above and beyone the Ethics laws that are in place, etc.

If you want to suffer through it, it starts around the 2:02:00 mark.

https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/h ... 7FD5E28B36
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charlielima223

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Unread post18 Jul 2019, 20:12

Other than the Hurrican having an adverse effect on MC rates, I thought the F-22 was getting more durable less maintenance extensive radar absorbent coatings from the F-35. Wasn't that supposed to help reduce maintenace and increase MC rates?
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Unread post18 Jul 2019, 20:19

It did, but the damage to the base combined with nearly a decade of Sequestration and CRs (that cannot be reversed with a snap of the fingers) is really hurting them.
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Unread post19 Jul 2019, 01:16

Not sure why this is news. The 80% MC rate was always a stretched target for the 2 aircraft. It was 50% for the raptor and 55% for lightning as late as Oct 2018. Compared to the rest of the fleet at 70+%, the gap to close is way bigger for the 2.

The MC rate is on the upward trend due to the large investments going into maintenance, so much so that the USAF thought in April 2019 they were on track to meet 80% by end of this year. That's a big difference for the two planes (esp Raptor) which had a long track record of lower MC rates.
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Unread post19 Jul 2019, 02:23

For perspective, the Rafale is at 53%. I haven't seen the Eurofighter.
https://www.capital.fr/economie-politiq ... 343688?amp
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Unread post19 Jul 2019, 05:59

Here are the other rates for the USAF over the last few years.
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Unread post19 Jul 2019, 16:15

Block 3F jets have been achieving >80% MC rates.
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Unread post19 Jul 2019, 16:46

Just to keep everyone on the same page, here is the current plan for Fleet-Wide MC Rates and the Block 3F upgrades that are tied to it.
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Unread post21 Jul 2019, 12:29

Eglin AFB's MC rate now seems to be very high. 8) (It looks so from my point of view.)
It's......77%!!!! :shock:
https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... -rate.html
Eglin AFB F-35s Hit Their Highest Mission-Capable Rate
20 Jul 2019 The Walton Sun, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. | By Jim Thompson
As President Trump's nominee for defense secretary is telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet won't meet a Pentagon goal for an 80% mission-capable rate across all military services by Sept. 30, the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base is nonetheless flirting with that number.

In April, the 33rd -- a graduate flying and maintenance training wing -- posted a 77.1% mission-capable rate for the 33 F-35s on its flight line, according to Lt. Savannah Stephens, the wing's public affairs officer. That's the highest mission-capable rate achieved by the wing since August of 2016, when the Air Force declared initial operational capability status had been reached for the F-35A, the Air Force's version of the jet.

For June, the 33rd Fighter Wing's F-35 mission-capable rate was down just slightly, to 76.8%, according to Stephens.

"Our trend over the last year has been getting closer and closer to the 80% mark, and that is a huge win for our wing," Stephens said in an email. "We're at the highest MC (mission-capable) rates we've ever had."

Different versions of the jet are flown by the Marine Corps, which operates the F-35B, a short take-off and vertical landing jet, and the Navy, whose F-35C can land on an aircraft carrier.

In order to be mission-capable, an aircraft must be able to perform at least one of its designated missions. The F-35's missions include air-to-air and air-to-ground combat as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

At Eglin and elsewhere across the military services, a lack of availability of spare parts has hampered the F-35's mission-capable rates. Last year, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, whose district includes Eglin, raised concerns that the base could miss its goals for graduating new F-35 pilots as a result of the parts shortage. Eglin is one of two Air Force bases -- the other is Luke Air Force Base in Arizona -- that train F-35 pilots.

Stephens said Wednesday that the supply issues that had affected Eglin's F-35 operations have eased in recent months.

"We're doing what we can and turning jets," said Stephens, referencing the cycle of getting jets' maintenance needs addressed and returning them to service.

But Stephens also cautioned that when the deadline for 80% mission capability arrives, Eglin might not meet that goal. There are a number of reasons for that, including routine maintenance scheduling that might keep a number of F-35s out of the sky, she said.

The 80% mission-capable target was set by former Defense Secretary James Mattis last September, when the mission-capable rate for the Air Force's F-35s was at 54.7%. Air Force officials have since said that the service is on pace to meet Mattis' goal.

But earlier this week in a letter to the Senate committee, Mark Esper, President Trump's nominee for secretary of defense, said that problems with maintaining a specialized canopy on the F-35s flown by all of the military services meant the jet would not meet the readiness target across the military services.

Esper's letter came on the heels of an April report from the federal General Accounting Office that noted that "shortages, repair backlogs, and mismatched parts are keeping F-35s on the ground."

This article is written by Jim Thompson from The Walton Sun, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal @ newscred.com.

I hope to betray DoD's expectations...!! :salute:
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Unread post19 Sep 2019, 17:15

Hill AFB 388th FW's F-35, recorded a rate of more than 80% at Middle East. 8) wow :applause:
http://airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2 ... arned.aspx
Most USAF Fighters Won’t Meet 80 Percent Directive, but Process Has Lessons Learned
9/18/2019—BRIAN EVERSTINE
While the bulk of the Air Force’s fighter fleet will not meet the directive to increase its mission capable rate to 80 percent, the increased funding and focus on readiness under the effort has identified issues Air Combat Command can address to improve the health of the fleet.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in October 2018 issued a directive to the Air Force and Navy to improve the readiness of the F-16, F/A-18, F-22, and F-35 fleets to an 80 percent mission capable rate by the end of fiscal 2019. With the deadline less than two weeks away, the only Air Force fleet that will meet the mark is Active Duty F-16s.

Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Holmes said Sept. 18 at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference he was “really happy with the shift made in the Air Force” to emphasize readiness, moving “significant money” during the fiscal 2019 budget. That trend will continue in the fiscal 2020 budget.

F-22 fleet readiness is limited by multiple factors, the first being the response to Hurricane Michael that devastated Tyndall AFB, Fla., last year. The Air Force scattered Tyndall’s F-22s and personnel to JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; JB Langley-Eustis, Va.; and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The personnel moves wrapped up last month, after the Air Force gave airmen and their families time to find places to live, get children enrolled in schools, and deal with issues related to an abrupt move.

Second, the F-22 faces complications with maintenance of its low observable coating. Maintaining this stealth capability takes time and effort, at a time when Tyndall’s low observable maintenance facility was damaged. That facility is now operational, and the service is looking at expanding the LO maintenance capability at the F-22 operational bases, Holmes said.

“A big part of the F-22 issue is LO,” he said.


The main issue with the F-35 has been parts availability, which is a challenge the Joint Program Office is working through. In the past several months, the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, the Air Force’s operational F-35 wing, has had jets flying in four separate locations. This has complicated the overall readiness and maintenance process. Despite that, the F-35s that are deployed to the Middle East have had a “constantly improving rate,” including more than 80 percent recently, Holmes said.
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Unread post11 Oct 2019, 18:43

Hill AFB 388th FW's 70 F-35A achieved the MC rates 80~90%!!!!!!! :applause: Greatest!!!! 8) wow
https://www.388fw.acc.af.mil/News/Artic ... readiness/
388th Fighter Wing focuses on F-35A operational capabilities, mission readiness
By Micah Garbarino, 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published October 10, 2019
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – As the Air Force continues to sharpen its competitive edge to become a more lethal and ready force, the first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II wing has been a key contributor to the force’s overall readiness.

Over the summer, all three squadrons — nearly 70 F-35A aircraft — were operating away from home station. They conducted operations in nine different countries on three separate continents, supporting multiple combatant commanders. One squadron supported a European Theater Support Package, another squadron conducted off-station operations at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, while Hill’s runway was under construction, and one squadron is currently conducting the first F-35A combat deployment.

But the wing successfully supported all of these requirements. “It was a team effort, and I’m proud of our folks,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “We’re focused on maintaining and improving every aspect of readiness – training, manning, and developing our people and tactics to meet current threats. Our maintainers are doing a great job providing the sorties we need to do just that.

Those successes can be attributed to several factors, from the accelerating experience levels of the maintainers, to rebounds in the supply process. And not everything has been a recent fix. The numbers are catching up to past process improvements.

“A lot of the time people’s perceptions and expectations of the program are influenced by stale data, old, inaccurate information,” said Chief Master Sgt. Trey Munn, 388th MXG chief enlisted manager. “A really good example is the (Autonomic Logistics Information System). There are definitely applications within ALIS that still need to be addressed, but the prognostic health management system and joint technical data are great examples of where ALIS, on the whole, has improved and we’ve improved.”

Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander, said the jet’s prognostics health management system can detect problems before they fail and allow maintainers to prioritize workload. Making prudent maintenance decisions in coordination with the operations group’s flying schedule is a key process enabled by these systems.

The newest batch of jets from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, production facility are also reflected in the improvements. “We’re not seeing the same problem parts and issues that we did in the past,” Miles said. “Problems sent in from the field are being addressed and solutions are woven into the production line. I like the trajectory we’re currently on. There have been some valleys, but our overall experience shows we’re on a readiness incline.”

Last fall, former Defense Secretary James Mattis directed Air Force and Navy fighter squadrons to improve material readiness by achieving a mission capable rate of 80 percent – something many believed to be a lofty goal given the operations tempo, manning and resource constraints faced by all of the services.

Twelve months later, materiel readiness at the 388th FW, to include one squadron currently deployed, has seen remarkable improvements. This was highlighted when 388 FW units hit a single day high in September with two units above 90 percent mission capable and the third unit above 80 percent. This is a huge testament to the level of effort the Airmen maintaining and sustaining the F-35 have put in over this year.

Col. Miles believes “this is a reflection of processes that are on the right track. It took hard work and there will be a lot of naysayers, and many people don’t understand the trajectory the program is on.”

Mission capable rates are just one component assessed at the unit level to determine readiness. In a recent interview, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein described five aspects of overall readiness, which include training Airmen, sustainable budgets and funding, mission preparation, reliable logistics supply chain of available parts, and flying hours so pilots have more time in the air.

Parts and systems are not the only thing required to maintain aircraft. So are people.

“Experience levels are often overlooked in the maintenance equation,” Miles said. “We had a really robust talent pool when we stood up our first operational aircraft maintenance unit in 2015. Over time, that experience level became diluted as we stood up two other AMUs, lost people to PCS and retirement, and we had a lot of brand new F-35A maintainers. It takes time to build that experience level back up.”

“MC rates are important, but don’t represent a complete measure of overall readiness,” Goldfein said. “You’ve got to have trained and ready airmen to get the job done. What really matters is that I’ve got trained and ready crews…and we’ve been able to meet those timelines and actually exceed them. That’s what counts.”

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