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

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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talkitron

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Unread post08 Aug 2020, 00:31

Combat Aircraft Journal has a new editorial team for the September issue. There is an interesting article called Combat Ready...Or Not? about ongoing maintenance issues with the Navy's Super Hornet fleet. To summarize the, Navy has been bad at getting needed spare parts and the availability of Super Hornets is low. Planes are being transferred across squadrons in order to work around the issues.

https://www.key.aero
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Unread post08 Aug 2020, 10:43

COMBAT READY... OR NOT? [8 page article mentioned above PDF attached below]
Sep 2020 Jurgen van Toor, Ben Gorski and Patrick Roegies

"By late-2017, a high tempo of operations combined with budget cuts, inadequate supply chain management, and subsequent maintenance backlogs significantly diminished the readiness of the US Navy’s Super Hornet and Growler squadrons. Will Block II and Block III Super Hornets alleviate the problem? REPORT AND IMAGES Jurgen van Toor, Ben Gorski and Patrick Roegies..."

Source: Combat Aircraft Journal Sep 2020 Vol 21 No 9 [CLICK GRAPHIC TWICE TO READ IT]
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Shornets Combat Ready Combat Aircraft Sep 2020 pp8.pdf
(1.41 MiB) Downloaded 233 times
CurrentShornetInventoryUSNsep2020wide.gif
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Unread post09 Aug 2020, 16:47

Can't say as I'm surprised. I dunno what the issue is, but one of the SH's supposed selling points is maintainability/reliability. Now it might not be the aircraft's fault, but think about it.. If the USN has difficulty keeping them combat ready, how do you think say, Canada is going to do?
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Unread post10 Aug 2020, 04:41

mixelflick wrote:Can't say as I'm surprised. I dunno what the issue is, but one of the SH's supposed selling points is maintainability/reliability. Now it might not be the aircraft's fault, but think about it.. If the USN has difficulty keeping them combat ready, how do you think say, Canada is going to do?

Prolly this has an effect:
PMA-265 ramps up production of GCUs, reversing shortfall
06Jul 2020 Katie Walsh, PMA-265 Communications NavAirSysCom

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) Power and Propulsion Integrated Product Team (IPT) has led the reversal of a more than a decade-long shortfall of Generator Control Units (GCUs) for its F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, ultimately allowing PMA-265 to exceed the 80 percent mission-capable readiness goal set in October 2018 by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis....

...At the time when the 80 percent mission-capability edict was announced, the Super Hornets had only been able to maintain readiness levels of 260 mission-capable aircraft — far short of the 341 goal....

...The result of all of this has been that PMA-265 met Mattis’ readiness goal and is regularly flying upward of 350 jets. “The U.S. Navy is the only DOD military branch to have met and sustained the 80 percent readiness call that Mattis put out, and that is largely associated with resolving the issues with GCUs,” Shaw said....

...“In less than a year, Super Hornet mission-capable aircraft increased from 260 to 350 while reducing GCU IPG1s and back orders to zero – that’s about the most direct tie to readiness that I’ve seen,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this team and the hard work of everyone on it.”"

Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/news/PMA-265 ... 62020-1259
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Unread post10 Aug 2020, 17:04

That's a great accomplishment, hats off to everyone involved.

How on earth though, do you allow a decade-long shortfall of Generator Control Units to happen? Is it more than a matter of just watching inventory? or was the funding cut? Seems like that happening at all should send alarm bells off, nevermind having it going on for a decade..

Yikes
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Unread post10 Aug 2020, 23:08

Yes it 'amazement' as EFFIE would say. I guess SEQUESTRATION (for maintenance) had a hand along with nowadays better statistics for maintenance. In hindsight maybe the problem is more obvious but I really don't claim to know the USN at all.
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Unread post10 Aug 2020, 23:31

mixelflick wrote:That's a great accomplishment, hats off to everyone involved.

How on earth though, do you allow a decade-long shortfall of Generator Control Units to happen? Is it more than a matter of just watching inventory? or was the funding cut? Seems like that happening at all should send alarm bells off, nevermind having it going on for a decade..

Yikes


Apparently, there are three versions of the GCU in circulation.

It's clear that a major motivation for the "Block III" is standardizing on a single configuration with
a modern, stable supplier base that can deliver at capacity.
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Unread post21 Nov 2020, 08:15

A MORE SUPER Super Hornet [10 page PDF of article attached]
Dec 2020 - Jan 2021 Mark Phelps

["Yeah Yeah the supadupa is wunnerful"]

Source: AIR & SPACE Magazine December 2020 - January 2021
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MoreSupaSuperHornet Air and Space Smithsonian Jan 2021 pp10.pdf
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Unread post21 Nov 2020, 15:13

So Boeing wanted it to be the "backbone of the fleet air arm"?

I'd say they succeeded. The Super Hornet IS the fleet air arm.... I just hope to God the Navy sticks with the F-35C buy, and fully funds the F/A-XX. Because its high time Navy decks be populated with something other than "strike fighters".
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Unread post23 Nov 2020, 03:21

mixelflick wrote:So Boeing wanted it to be the "backbone of the fleet air arm"?

I'd say they succeeded. The Super Hornet IS the fleet air arm.... I just hope to God the Navy sticks with the F-35C buy, and fully funds the F/A-XX. Because its high time Navy decks be populated with something other than "strike fighters".


What??? With the limited space on any Aircraft Carrier. Why would the USN or any Navy not want Strike Fighters to fill their flight decks????


Regardless, short-term the F-35C is fairly safe. Yet, long-term (NGAD - F/A-XX) is another story???
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Unread post23 Nov 2020, 03:25

Honestly, I expect the Super Hornet retirement to accelerate considerably post 2030. Much like the F-14 Tomcat did back in the day......
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Unread post23 Nov 2020, 17:10

Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:So Boeing wanted it to be the "backbone of the fleet air arm"?

I'd say they succeeded. The Super Hornet IS the fleet air arm.... I just hope to God the Navy sticks with the F-35C buy, and fully funds the F/A-XX. Because its high time Navy decks be populated with something other than "strike fighters".


What??? With the limited space on any Aircraft Carrier. Why would the USN or any Navy not want Strike Fighters to fill their flight decks????


Regardless, short-term the F-35C is fairly safe. Yet, long-term (NGAD - F/A-XX) is another story???


I didn't say they wouldn't want strike fighters, just not ALL strike fighters. Why? Because for the first time in a long time the Navy's carriers face a credible bomber/bomber launched missile threat AND Chinese carriers (with real fighters aka the upgraded J-15). The PL-12's and some day 15's they'll carry should also be a very big concern. A dedicated fighter/interceptor is therefore needed, that being F/A-XX. I can just see it now though: The Navy stops funding that and re-directs funds into buying more "strike fighters", reasoning they can do as good a job.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to work out so well..
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Unread post24 Nov 2020, 00:32

mixelflick wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:So Boeing wanted it to be the "backbone of the fleet air arm"?

I'd say they succeeded. The Super Hornet IS the fleet air arm.... I just hope to God the Navy sticks with the F-35C buy, and fully funds the F/A-XX. Because its high time Navy decks be populated with something other than "strike fighters".


What??? With the limited space on any Aircraft Carrier. Why would the USN or any Navy not want Strike Fighters to fill their flight decks????


Regardless, short-term the F-35C is fairly safe. Yet, long-term (NGAD - F/A-XX) is another story???


I didn't say they wouldn't want strike fighters, just not ALL strike fighters. Why? Because for the first time in a long time the Navy's carriers face a credible bomber/bomber launched missile threat AND Chinese carriers (with real fighters aka the upgraded J-15). The PL-12's and some day 15's they'll carry should also be a very big concern. A dedicated fighter/interceptor is therefore needed, that being F/A-XX. I can just see it now though: The Navy stops funding that and re-directs funds into buying more "strike fighters", reasoning they can do as good a job.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to work out so well..


Sorry, you can turn any fighter into a "Strike Fighter". With the F-15 and F-22 being good examples. Nor, doesn't adding additional strike capabilities diminish their ability to perform Air to Air.

Honestly, I don't see the USN building a purely dedicated "Air Superiority" fighter anytime in the foreseeable future.

"IMHO" 8)
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Unread post24 Nov 2020, 08:35

All carrier aircraft are and will be "Strike fighters" aka multi-role fighters. Even F-14 was upgraded to multi-role system in F-14D and later proposals were centered on air-to-ground capabilities. Even F/A-XX will likely be a Strike fighter at heart and not just a fighter/interceptor. J-15 is also very much multi-role fighter these days.
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