Anyone know how to fix a F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet? No? Oh dear.
There’s gaping hole in the skies above the USA right now, and not just the ones caused by global warming. The United States Marine Corps, one of the most elite military forces on the planet, has a bit of a problem when it comes to its planes – namely, they’ve hardly got any of them left to play with.
Last month, the deputy commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen Jon Davis, told the US Senate that only 87 of its 276 fighter jets are in working order. That’s less than a third. Eesh.
The reason? Well, it’s twofold. Firstly, the planes the Marines currently climb into to embark on missions against ISIS were bought way back in the 1980s and mid-1990s. Think about how many cars you’d have driven into the big scrapyard in the sky in that time. Quite a lot, knowing your driving. Secondly, a number of issues have stalled the Corps’ new fleet of F-35 stealth fighter planes (each costing a cool $250 million to make) from coming on-line, meaning they won’t be ready in time to meet demand. Double eesh.
At least the Marines have a hell of a lot of fun to look forward to when they finally get their crop of F-35s. The vertical-takeoff, radar-evading fifth generation warplanes have futuristic electronic attack weapons, unparalleleded steath capabailities and really big guns and bombs and stuff. Really big.
Shame it’ll take until the mid-2030s for the new planes to fully replenish the rusty old ones they’ve got to put up with right now.
These pilots definitely have a need. A need for spanking new jets, it seems.
H/T: The Daily Beast