U.S. Navy May Extend Some F/A-18s in Wait for F-35C

Antonie Boessenkool. Defense News, 03 August 2009.


“They must, they absolutely must, enter the fleet on time and on budget,” [Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations] said, stand­ing before a green-painted F-35C at Lockheed Martin’s assembly plant here. “If we don’t get this airplane on time, we’re going to realize a gap in the number of airplanes we take to sea.” Roughead said the Navy may ex­tend the service life of its older F/A-18 models as it waits.

Editor’s comment:

The Navy could relax its delivery schedule for the new fighter by five years or so if it downsizes its carrier fleet (without sacrificing strategic power projection) as recommended by the Project on Defense Alternatives. This would free up newer F/A-18s to replace older ones in the Navy’s remaining active air fleet.

See also: “No Navy Fighter Gap: PAE” — http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/05/05/no-navy-fighter-gap/

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