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Life Cycle Logistics

CBO Reports on Fighter Aircraft Availability and Use

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently issued two new reports of interest to the life cycle logistics, product support, and sustainment community focused the availability and use of the…

CBO Reports on Fighter Aircraft Availability and Use

CBO Reports on Fighter Aircraft Availability and Use
Bill Kobren

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently issued two new reports of interest to the life cycle logistics, product support, and sustainment community focused the availability and use of the joint service F-35 and Department of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F aircraft. Specifically:

  • Availability and Use of F-35 Fighter Aircraft: An Update – In this report, the “CBO reexamines the availability and use of the Department of Defense’s F-35 fighter aircraft and presents new findings on availability rates, flying hours, and effects of aging. In fiscal year 2022, F-35Cs’ availability increased while F-35As’ and F-35Bs’ availability decreased; flying hours per aircraft increased slightly for all three variants. Full mission availability rates—indicating an aircraft’s ability to perform all designated missions—have been greater for F-35As than F-35Bs or F-35Cs. Availability and use have generally declined with age for all of the variants. However, the fleets are quite new, so estimates of those effects are tentative.
  • Availability and Use of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Fighter Aircraft - In this report, the “CBO compares the availability and use of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft with the availability and use of their predecessor F/A-18C/D Hornets and other aircraft. Super Hornets have aged more adversely than the F/A-18C/Ds.”

For those unfamiliar with the organization, the “CBO is strictly nonpartisan; conducts objective, impartial analysis; and hires its employees solely on the basis of professional competence without regard to political affiliation. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate summarizes the methodology underlying the analysis.” For those interested in learning more, encourage you to visit the “About CBO” website or check out their brochure entitled “An Introduction to the Congressional Budget Office”.