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Marine Corps Commandant-We have too many Hornets

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posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 08:38 PM
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The Commandant of the Marine Corps made some interesting statements regarding the current status of Marine Aviation. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, he stated that the Marines currently have too many F-18s in their inventory. Marine F-18s had some of the lowest readiness rates in the US inventory, with almost 3/4ths of Marine F-18s showing as not mission capable in February of last year. They are some of the hardest used aircraft in the inventory, with their Depot maintenance requirements having been repeatedly pushed off, to keep aircraft available.

Last year, the head of Marine Aviation told Congress he could save a billion dollars if he could retire the oldest and worst of their aircraft faster than currently planned, and replace them with F-35s as they were built. The retired aircraft could be used as cannibalization aircraft for units that need parts, or sent to the Boneyard and stripped. The plan currently is to replace the F-18, EA-6B, and AV-8B with 353 F-35Bs, and 67 F-35Cs.


viation is the Marine Corps’ biggest readiness problem, but don’t give them more planes to fix it. “In fact, right now, we’ve got too many [F/A-18] Hornets — we have too many airplanes,” Gen. Robert Neller said today.

“Our problem right now is not number of airplanes per se, it’s getting the airplanes we have flying,” the Marine Corps commandant said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

That’s particularly true for the troubled Hornets, some of the military’s most beat-up aircraft after a decade of hard use in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan.

www.defenseone.com...




posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

The marines use them for close air support. How does the DOD feel about exposing F35s to enemy ground fire?

If I was a mujahideen with one stinger missile I been saving for something big...



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 08:49 PM
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The Marines get the hand-me-downs anyway. The only crew to get older aircraft are the Blue Angels. I trust Marine pilots implicitly, but the fact is, when it comes to allocations, the Navy gets first dibs and has the better planes. Ask anybody on a carrier. The Marine squadron is the bottom of the heap reliability-wise. I'm guessing the trickle down method of allocation will also prevail on the F-35s.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

The Marines are getting brand new F-35s, just as everyone else is. They have their own budget for procurement, and were the first to reach IOC of all the services.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

My intro to Hornets was when the game "F-18 Interceptor" came out for the Amiga. I spent an absolutely embarrassing number of hours running that sim. Many fond memories I have of those days. I thought the three MFDs made the cockpit look so advanced and cool. I remember at airshows they used to do these really slow flybys with an angle of attack that was absolutely mind-blowing for the time.

I always considered the Hornet to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing air-frame designs I ever saw. I even liked the old Northrop YF-17 design that lost out to the F-16. Just has nice proportions.

I suppose it's a credit to the designers that it's such a versatile design. I assume that's the reason that they've worked them so hard. I don't know if that's the reason , but I guess it makes sense.

Oh, and Zaph, I've been planning to send you a PM on an unrelated subject, if it's ok.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:10 PM
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a reply to: MteWamp

The Hornet is an interesting design, that has some interesting challenges. The range was always a huge complaint by the crews. Even with the Super Hornet, it's still an issue depending on weapons loadout. They used to come to fly against the Hawaii F-15s and routinely waxed the Eagles for a few years.

Depending on what the PM is, I can't say I'll answer, but feel free to send it.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:11 PM
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I don't know about the cost of F 18s but...


"A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a 'generic' F-35 costs $178 million," Wheeler wrote.


from 2014



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

From the Canada Hornets Forever Thread:


The last LRIP had the A model at $94.6M, and by LRIP 14, it's expected to be down to $80M. Once the block buy starts, costs will drop significantly.


www.abovetopsecret.com...

The Bs and Cs will always be more expensive than the As. That's just from economies of scale though.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: anzha

The C is currently the most expensive of the three simply because the Navy is buying them in single digit lots. The 2017 contract included 8 C models, some of which were going to the Marines.
edit on 1/28/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Even when the Navy buys at their highest rate, the C will still be more expensive. Smaller lots (as you noted) but also less total numbers. Tooling costs. I didn't realize how much machining cost is just getting everything set up. You order 2 and it can cost crazy amounts per unit. Order a thousand...



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Yeah, it will. But it hasn't been coming down as fast as the others right now simply because they're not going to do a mass order until they reach IOC, and the block buy goes into place.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: anzha

That information is unsourced. F 35s will be cheaper than F 18 s?

lulz



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 11:26 PM
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If the Marines cant handle it, get rid of themperiod. The US doesn’t need an air force for every service branch including the Army and the freaking Coast Guard. Give the Marine fighter jets to the Navy, its not like they fly CAS for them all the time anyway.
And while you’re at it, get rid of the STOVL fighter capability for good. Its an extravagance with little to no relevant military value and has been for decades. While there are some scenarios in which it is useful, those are not relevant for the US is used to fight its wars. Instead, the Marine should focus on combat helicopters, gunships and drones. Navalize the AH-64E, built a true ‘AV-22’ and move forward with unmanned attack helicopters.
But of course, reforming the service structure is nigh impossible.



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 11:27 PM
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with almost 3/4ths of Marine F-18s showing as not mission capable in February of last year.


wait, when did the department of the Navy start allowing there to be so many down jets at once??



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 11:27 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Fine. Sources.

www.janes.com...

www.janes.com...

The prices are clearly coming down.

Also, the problem with the F-18 is the rate. For the Rhino, Boeing has to be able to keep the line open and the those costs are paid for. If there are only 48 birds bought? Guess what? Price goes up because the entire line has to be there whether its 48 or 192.

Current price for an F-18? $70 million. The F-35 will be cheaper as soon as the block buy goes through.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jan, 28 2018 @ 11:49 PM
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a reply to: anzha

To be clear that link stated Lockheed is "targeting" lower prices, not delivering and specifically

"final prices not set".



posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: anzha
goes both ways though
The last major F-18 block buys were dirt cheap, it was almost ridiculous.

Check this one out for example, 66 Supers and 58 Growlers for combined 5.3 bill US-$, thats 43 mil for each aircraft. And Growlers are more expensive than Super Hornets...
boeing.mediaroom.com...
I highly doubt prices for the F-35B/Cs will ever get as low.



posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 12:58 AM
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originally posted by: mightmight
If the Marines cant handle it, get rid of themperiod. The US doesn’t need an air force for every service branch including the Army and the freaking Coast Guard. Give the Marine fighter jets to the Navy, its not like they fly CAS for them all the time anyway.
And while you’re at it, get rid of the STOVL fighter capability for good. Its an extravagance with little to no relevant military value and has been for decades. While there are some scenarios in which it is useful, those are not relevant for the US is used to fight its wars. Instead, the Marine should focus on combat helicopters, gunships and drones. Navalize the AH-64E, built a true ‘AV-22’ and move forward with unmanned attack helicopters.
But of course, reforming the service structure is nigh impossible.



No point in having an amphibious capability that can only deployed with a carrier strike group? It limits your options somewhat and a helicopter is nigh useless against a radar guided missile and cant drop guided bombs.



posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 01:22 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Isn't that sale price less engine?


Still better value than Boeing or most anything else out there.

Perhaps USMC can dump the legacy Hornets to Canada, Oz, or Spain either SLEP'd or as donors, if they're looking to kill the supply chain and save money. Frees up money for more F-35's or Growlers.



posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 06:55 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

No. LRIP 9 was $102.1M including engine. LRIP 10 was $94.6M including engine.



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