Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

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steve2267

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Unread post28 Jan 2017, 16:25

EA-18G Growler Crew Saved By Portland-Based PJs After Canopy Explosion
23 Jan 2016 UNK

...
The Scorpions CO handed the two men engraved bottles of scotch as a thank you from his squadron.
...

Source: http://hrana.org/articles/2017/01/ea-18 ... explosion/


Great job by those PJs.

Growlers are two seaters, right? CO should have offered thank you rides to those two PJs. If John Elway etc can get rides with the Blue Angels / Thunderbirds, two PJs who saved the lives of an aircrew oughta get a flight.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post28 Jan 2017, 17:53

steve2267 wrote:
EA-18G Growler Crew Saved By Portland-Based PJs After Canopy Explosion
23 Jan 2016 UNK

...
The Scorpions CO handed the two men engraved bottles of scotch as a thank you from his squadron.
...

Source: http://hrana.org/articles/2017/01/ea-18 ... explosion/


Great job by those PJs.

Growlers are two seaters, right? CO should have offered thank you rides to those two PJs. If John Elway etc can get rides with the Blue Angels / Thunderbirds, two PJs who saved the lives of an aircrew oughta get a flight.


I wouldn't disagree, other than to say the logistics involved with legally carrying a passenger, on a no-notice surprise visit might be difficult. I'm sure it is quite possible that they offered one at a later date. You can take non-aviators for incentive rides, but there is still a requirement for them to get basic aviation survival/equipment training. Some can be waived, but the ejection seat specific stuff cannot, which would be something that USAF PJ's probably wouldn't have already completed for a NACES seat. Just saying. Your idea is a good one though.
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Unread post06 Feb 2017, 13:15

I guess the aircraft is not to blame but humans - but still.... wot a turdburger this is - USN. Where is 'maus92'?
Grounded: Nearly two-thirds of US Navy’s strike fighters can’t fly
06 Feb 2017 Christopher P. Cavas

"Washington – The US Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly – grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn the aviation depot backlog.

Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them....

...“Our priorities are unambiguously focused on readiness -- those things required to get planes in the air, ships and subs at sea, sailors trained and ready,” a Navy official declared. “No new starts.”

The dire situation of naval aviation is sobering. According to the Navy, 53 percent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly – about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems – at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 percent figure represents about twice the historic norm.

The strike fighter situation is even more acute, and more remarkable since the aircraft are vitally important to projecting the fleet’s combat power. Sixty-two percent of F/A-18s are out of service, 27 percent in major depot work and 35 percent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said.

With training and flying hour funds cut, the Navy’s air crews are struggling to maintain even minimum flying requirements, the senior Navy source said. Retention is becoming a problem, too. In 2013, seventeen percent of flying officers declined department head tours after being selected. The percentage grew to 29 percent in 2016....

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/gro ... s-cant-fly
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Unread post06 Feb 2017, 17:03

Surely this is the fault of the F-35, and the only cure is buying new Super Hornets
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Unread post06 Feb 2017, 18:16

XanderCrews wrote:Surely this is the fault of the F-35, and the only cure is buying new Super Hornets


Of course it is the F-35's fault. After they are installed on a new airframe, when powered on for the first time, the Lightning avionics get on the internet and seek out any F-18 avionics boxes and tease them mercilessly. The F-18 boxes, though designed for EW, fail prematurely from all the additional stress of F-35 teasing and Lightning envy...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post06 Feb 2017, 23:47

Who knows what will happen however Congress & President are Republican but I don't follow US politics eh - Thornberry.
Thornberry Eyes Quick Passage of Appropriations, Defense Supplemental Measures
06 Feb 2017 OTTO KREISHER

"...“We cannot wait to fix our airplanes until we fix the budget,” he [Thornberry] added.

...The compromise NDAA cut $18 billion the House wanted to add to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which would have gone mainly to increased weapons. The proposed adds included 14 F/A-18 Super Hornets, another littoral combat ship and an extra LPD 17 amphibious warship, plus 11 more F-35 Lightning IIs, split among the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force...."

Source: http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/201 ... berry.html
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Unread post07 Feb 2017, 03:43

spazsinbad wrote:Who knows what will happen however Congress & President are Republican but I don't follow US politics eh - Thornberry.
Thornberry Eyes Quick Passage of Appropriations, Defense Supplemental Measures
06 Feb 2017 OTTO KREISHER

"...“We cannot wait to fix our airplanes until we fix the budget,” he [Thornberry] added.

...The compromise NDAA cut $18 billion the House wanted to add to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which would have gone mainly to increased weapons. The proposed adds included 14 F/A-18 Super Hornets, another littoral combat ship and an extra LPD 17 amphibious warship, plus 11 more F-35 Lightning IIs, split among the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force...."

Source: http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/201 ... berry.html


I would rather have 10 F-35C's (full squadron) than 14 Super Hornets. Especially, considering they will be 3F (full capability) F-35C's....
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 05:35

Broken USN Naval Aviation - more Super Hornets will fix it - yeah right....
VCNO Moran: Navy Will Be ‘Just Flat Out Out Of Money’ Without Supplemental Funding; Would Cancel Flight Hours, Ship Avails
07 Feb 2017 Megan Eckstein

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — Without a readiness-focused supplemental spending bill passed by lawmakers this spring, the Navy and Marine Corps would stop flying at home and ship and submarine maintenance availabilities would be canceled, the vice chief of naval operations and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps said at a hearing today.

The continuing resolution currently funding the government at last year’s spending levels is set to expire on April 28, 2017, and even if lawmakers could pass the Fiscal Year 2017 spending bill for the second half of the fiscal year, budget caps already in place mean that the Navy would receive about $5 billion less than it did in FY 2016. Having started the year, then, at a higher spending rate, dropping down to the FY 2017 budget would cause the Navy to almost immediately run out of operations and maintenance dollars in parts of its budget.

If the Navy did not receive a supplemental spending bill with additional funds for FY 2017, “within a month we are going to have to shut down air wings, we are going to have to defer maintenance on several availabilities for our surface ships and submarine maintenance facilities,” Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told the House Armed Services Committee today at a “state of the military” hearing....

...The sea services also face aviation readiness challenges that go beyond what supplemental funding can immediately fix. Moran said during the hearing that the legacy F/A-18A-D Hornets today take twice as many man hours as originally planned for repairs and maintenance, which only exacerbates the challenges at aviation depots. He said that “on a typical day in the Navy about 25 to 30 percent of our jets and our airplanes are in some kind of depot maintenance,” and overall just over half are unavailable for operations today.

“We can and we do put ready airplanes and ready aircrews forward” but “there’s no depth on the bench behind them if we had to surge forces,” the vice chief said. If a crisis broke out somewhere in the world, “we will be late to get there, if we want to have full-up equipment to get to the fight.”

On the Marine Corps side, Walters said the service requires 589 ready basic aircraft to train, workup for deployment and operate forward. The Marines have only 439 today, which is still 50 more than it had two years ago. He said readiness numbers are moving in the right direction – most pilots are now receiving between 12 and 14 hours of flight time a month, which is still short of the 16 to 18 minimum requirement but much better than at the height of the recent aviation readiness crisis. However, even reaching these ready basic aircraft and flight hour goals would put the Marines at the minimum requirement to stay current on their certifications, and still falls short of helping the pilots become proficient, or “the A-team” as Walters said. The assistant commandant said there was no correlation between the flight hours and fatal crashes that have occurred in recent years, but he said that an inability to build proficiency would hurt the service in a high-end fight."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2017/02/07/vcno-n ... hip-avails
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 08:50

Fun with numbers & damn statistics and how to report/calculate said numbers is like figuring out cost of an F-35 - when?
62 % Of F-18 Hornets Unfit To Fly, Up To 74% In Marines; DoD, Hill Focus On Readiness
07 Feb 2017 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"...Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, speaking to the shipbuilders just after Wittman, was even more emphatic about readiness. “Secretary Mattis is — for those of us who’ve worked for him before — he’s always very clear, he’s always given good guidance,” Neller said. “Right now restoring readiness is the priority,” though the Pentagon team will try to fill “holes in programs” where possible.

Issues with insufficient flight hours for pilot training, insufficient spare parts to keep planes flying, and so on are at the top of the readiness priorities, Neller added. These problems tie directly into the low readiness figures for naval aviation, which were first reported by Defense News last night, acknowledged by Vice-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran at a hearing this morning, and clarified for Breaking Defense by a Navy spokesperson this afternoon. It’s likely Marine Corps Hornets are worse off than the reported figures indicate, since they’re some of the oldest fighters in the military.

[UPDATED:] Marine Corps figures provided Breaking Defense confirm this guess. Of 280 Marine Corps F-18s, 109 are in long-term maintenance — heading to or from depots, in depots, or simply “out of reporting.” The other 171 assigned to squadrons, but 58 percent of these 171 aircraft are in shorter-term maintenance, leaving 71 to 72 aircraft, on average, ready to fight. That’s 42 percent of the Hornets assigned to squadrons but only 26 percent of the total inventory.

[UPDATED:] It’s also worth noting that the services don’t report their readiness rates this way: They simply look at aircraft “in reporting” — in this case, the 171 assigned to squadrons — and figure how many of them are ready to go — in this case, 42 percent. The aircraft in long-term maintenance are “out of reporting” and not included in the calculation. But the figures from the Defense News story and confirmed by the Navy were calculated as percentages of the entire aircraft fleet, and we’re trying to give an apples-to-apples comparison.

“We’re hopeful that all the discussion and all the talk is going to provide the resources that we think we need,” Neller said, “(but) none of this is going to happen overnight… even if you had the funding to increase the acquisition of airplanes or even if you had the money to increase the throughput through fleet readiness centers.”"

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2017/02/62-o ... readiness/
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 15:10

Is it just me (entirely possible, but my perception) or has there been a sudden increase in the number of dire readiness stories these past few weeks? Is it just the time of year? Were there a similar number of readiness-problem stories last January / February? Or is this something that occurs whenever a new Presidential administration takes office? Or have eight years of Obama really left the US military this bad off readiness wise? (Or fifteen years of operations is increasingly takings its toll?)
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 19:07

I'm not an 'historian' - except for my own interests - which do not include USAF etc. however the 'hits' keep on coming....
Return to a Hollow Force
07 Feb 2017 Wilson Brissett

"Air Force readiness is worse than it was in the “hollow force” days of the late 1970s, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday morning. Describing what he called “the smallest and oldest Air Force” in US history, Wilson told lawmakers that “we’re out of balance” due to “non-stop combat,” “budget instability,” and a “declining top-line.”

In this climate, USAF is forced to make “unacceptable trades” between readiness and modernization. He said the service is “less than 50 percent ready across our Air Force and we have pockets that are below that.” When asked if the Air Force could fight two simultaneous regional conflicts in different parts of the world, Wilson said it could do so only with units arriving “late” to the fight and with “higher casualties.”

By way of comparison, he said, the Air Force of the Desert Storm era had 500,000 personnel and 134 fighter squadrons, while today’s Air Force has 317,000 Active Duty personnel and 55 fighter squadrons. USAF had 8,600 aircraft in 1991, but only has 5,500 today, and the average age of a USAF aircraft is 27 years old today, Wilson said.

“During my time as Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, I testified in several readiness hearings. I am more concerned now than ever about the need to shore up the Air Force’s readiness,” said Air Force Association President Larry Spencer. “Having served over 40 years, I know first-hand the results of having a hollow force—it is not good for our Air Force, and it is not good for our nation. This upcoming budget supplemental must immediately address readiness concerns for our nation’s first responder, the US Air Force.”

Wilson insisted that with the help of “stable, predictable funding,” USAF can still “dig out of our readiness challenges.” He urged Congress to repeal the Budget Control Act and said the Air Force needs to build its manpower up to 350,000, increase “weapons & support” funding, & “flying hours,” and “modernize our force” by keeping programs like the F-35, KC-46, and B-21 “on track.”

Given healthier conditions like these, Wilson estimated it would take six to eight years to regain a sufficient level of readiness. In the near term, he said without a supplemental defense budget in 2017, USAF would see “sequestration-type actions” this year, meaning a further reduction in flying hours and longer backlogs at the maintenance depots."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... Force.aspx
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 19:17

Now posts are lost because 'server busy'? COOL - I'll come here often and not be able to see anything. COOL - I like it.

Missed a diatribe about perhaps posting this post on a new thread but it is relevant to the above question but ain't USN...
Joint Chiefs Wary on New Money
08 Feb 2017 John A. Tirpak

"​Though Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein is optimistic about the prospect of new monies flowing into the services, as directed by President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis, he said Tuesday he’s cautious about building a new spending plan....

...All that said, Goldfein agreed that the F-35 “will be” among his recommendations for new spending if the money appears. “The more F-35s we can … procure in the shortest period of time” the more it will enhance the capability of the force, add capacity, and reduce the average age of the inventory, all of which are essential, he said. But the F-35 will compete with the nuclear enterprise, cyber, bombers, munitions, infrastructure, and other priorities, he said. “Is it the No. 1 place I would spend dollars? That’s going to be a department-level discussion,” he noted. Goldfein also said that the F-35 buy objective of 1,763 airplanes is still the service’s goal, despite the many conflicts that have erupted worldwide since that figure was set. “While we have to look at the endgame numbers,” Goldfein observed, “We don’t have to make that decision” on the final number “for several years, given the buy rate” on the F-35. “What we don’t need right now is a lot of … turbulence and uncertainty,” in the program, which Goldfein suggested a change would cause. Such a move “would not be helpful” to the Air Force or international partners."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pa ... Money.aspx
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 20:07

By way of comparison, he said, the Air Force of the Desert Storm era had 500,000 personnel and 134 fighter squadrons, while today’s Air Force has 317,000 Active Duty personnel and 55 fighter squadrons. USAF had 8,600 aircraft in 1991, but only has 5,500 today, and the average age of a USAF aircraft is 27 years old today, Wilson said.


I notice there is no mention of how old the fleet was in '91, but I do find it interesting that the "average age" of our current fleet would be brand spanking new aircraft back in '91. I suppose back in '91 we were only 21 some years removed from the middle of Viet' Nam so even the 'Nam relics would only be 20-25 years old in '91.

We now have new F-35s rolling off the line and we have planes that have been flying since the Sixties. This year the youngest B-52s turn 55. In '91 B-1 production was already finished and the B-2 was still on the upswing. Our newest bombers are between 15 and 20 years old even lumping the Mudhen into the equation.

All that said, our smaller force is more potent then ever. We have fewer SEAD aircraft now ('91 was the final missions for the F-4 Wild Weasel in the Air Force) because with our advances in ECM, VLO, weapon range and accuracy we just don't need a dedicated SEAD platform.

We can strike targets deeper behind defenses more accurately using fewer munitions and thus airframes. You often see the charts saying "See how many fewer planes you need to do this with stealth? This is why it is worth the cost!" but the same thing could be said/seen even in the interim with precision guided munitions. These days the cannon round is about the only think not guided.

Folding fin rockets? No need to hose an area with 19 HYDRA rockets for effect, APKWS means that pod just turned into 19 laser guided mini missiles that can take out a truck or a person standing in a doorway. Put it on a Zuni and now you have a viable anti tank weapon.

Bombs? From 250lb to 30,000lb we have GPS/Laser/IIR kits on everything!

Cluster Munitions? Slap on a WCMD tail and suddenly the CEP accuracy of the parent munition is smaller than the area covered by submunitions. Slap it onto a CBU-97 and you can target a whole column/depot of vehicles with just a few bombs.

Don't want to overfly the target? Hellfire, Maverick, JSOW, JASSM take your pick!

Sorry for the "sales pitch" type rant, but I can't stand "doom and gloom" fearmongering. If you want to make your case for newer aircraft use the number of flight hours on the airframes. That shows what the last 15 years of ops has done, take new jets and run them through 75% of their service live in 33-50% of the planned time.
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Unread post08 Feb 2017, 21:46

steve2267 wrote:Is it just me (entirely possible, but my perception) or has there been a sudden increase in the number of dire readiness stories these past few weeks? Is it just the time of year? Were there a similar number of readiness-problem stories last January / February? Or is this something that occurs whenever a new Presidential administration takes office? Or have eight years of Obama really left the US military this bad off readiness wise? (Or fifteen years of operations is increasingly takings its toll?)

Happens practically every year at around this time. It's budget time and everyone is jockeying around for budget increases.
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Unread post09 Feb 2017, 00:09

Some of the bad news explained.... Best Read it all at source because the cause(s) goes back a long way(s)....
Navy, Marine F-18s In ‘Death Spiral’ As Readiness Plummets
08 Jul 2017 Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"CAPITOL HILL: The Navy-Marine fighter fleet is in a “death spiral” and the only long-term fix is to buy new jets faster, both F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a former Pentagon analyst told Breaking Defense. Two veteran Hill staffers agreed the situation is dire and new planes are needed, although they put equal emphasis on stable, adequate funding for maintenance....

... First, the staffer said, “there has been a gutting of the aviation support accounts, (which) dropped to 52 percent of requirement in 2013” — the year sequestration sliced the Pentagon budget — “and (rose) only back up to 74 percent in 2015.”

Second, “consumption is outpacing procurement: Since 2000, we have struck 748 strike fighters and procured 573 for a delta (net loss) of 175 aircraft,” the staffer continued. More than half that net loss is due to delays on the Joint Strike Fighter program, the staffer added. “There were supposed to be something like 110 F-35Cs by 2018. Since they’re not there, the older aircraft get used up more.”

“What we are seeing is a classic death spiral,” said the former OSD analyst. “We have talked about this for years as being theoretically possible, but it never has actually happened. A platform death spiral occurs when you have too few of a given platform — airplanes, tanks, ships — but you continue to use them at the same or increased pace.” That creates a vicious circle. Fewer aircraft doing more work will wear out faster, which means you have even fewer aircraft working even harder, repeat at nauseam until the last plane breaks.

“The bottom line is that the naval air force is in a bad way,” said the analyst. “We need to continue producing JSFs to meet the high-end threats like SA-300/400s (advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles) and reopen the Super Hornet line with Boeing to take pressure off the current force now.”... [LONG EXPLANATION BEST READ AT SOURCE]

...“To fix it, they mostly just need more O&M money over a sustained period of time, and it needs to be provided in a more predictable manner,” without BCA caps or Continuing Resolutions, the staffer said. “(But) a lot of the F-18s, especially in the USMC, are just plain old and worn out. No amount of maintenance can make a very old aircraft brand new.”

“The ways to get out of this are increase depot throughput, fully fund the enabler accounts, especially spares, (and) buy more new aircraft,” agreed the second staffer. “Procurement does help readiness.”"

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2017/02/navy ... -plummets/
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