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Fat Amy Can’t Catch a Break

by | Jun 14, 2024

f35$

Fat Amy is a nickname for the F35 Lightning II. As long as an F16 and comparable in weight to a heavy class F15, the F35 isn’t necessarily a light aircraft.

Flying cost per hour may have been reduced to $34,000 per hour. Maybe.

The mission capable rate, the percentage of time during which the aircraft can fly and perform at least one of its tasked missions—and the full mission capable rate—the percentage of time during which the aircraft can perform all of its tasked missions—are key measures of the health and readiness of a military aircraft fleet.

Lockheed-Martin just built the thousandth F35 in January 2024.

These graphs show you two things; first, the full mission capability rate for 2008-2011 production F35s is effectively zero.

Zero.

Second, the Navy and USMC F35B/C variants built between 2012 and 2023 never achieve a full mission capability rate that exceeds 30 percent. Mind you, the maritime environment and structural differences between the variants is a large engineering problem. Keep in mind this is also the first time in recent history the DoD has chosen to make the USAF and the maritime services use the same air-frame.

Take look at these readiness graphs from in Appendix III: U.S. Fleet Mission Capable Rates in a GAO report:

screenshot 2024 06 13 at 16 06 08 gao 23 105341 f 35 aircraft dod and the military services need to reassess the future sustainment strategy gao 23 105341.pdf

screenshot 2024 06 13 at 16 06 24 gao 23 105341 f 35 aircraft dod and the military services need to reassess the future sustainment strategy gao 23 105341.pdf

screenshot 2024 06 13 at 16 06 40 gao 23 105341 f 35 aircraft dod and the military services need to reassess the future sustainment strategy gao 23 105341.pdf

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105341

Email me at cgpodcast@pm.me.

 

Bill Buppert

Bill Buppert

Bill Buppert is the host of Chasing Ghosts: An Irregular Warfare Podcast and a contributor over time to various liberty endeavors. He served in the military for nearly a quarter century and contractor tours after retirement on occasion and was a combat tourist in a number of neo-imperialist shit-pits around the world.

He can be found on twitter at @wbuppert and reached via email at cgpodcast@pm.me.

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