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"One-Third of Britainís Air Force Canít Fly" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse16 Jan 2019 8:32 p.m. PST

"One-third of Britain's military aircraft isn't available to fly, according to British media.

"Figures unearthed by freedom of information campaigners show 142 of 434 of the air force's planes have been sidelined," said the British tabloid Daily Mirror .

Some planes and helicopters have been mothballed, while others are down for major maintenance. The problem spans numerous models, including the Royal Air Force's flagship fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon…."
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Midlander6517 Jan 2019 1:29 p.m. PST

What astonishing ignorance.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 7:54 p.m. PST

That's less than what the USMC, and/or Modern Luftwaffe rates were, so perhaps it's not as bad as it appears.

Historical serviceability rates I've seen, from WWII – Ultramodern age generally seem to bounce around between 50% – 70% or so, for Western nations, so looks like they may be in the sweetspot for that.

The real issue is having so few aircraft in an air force in the first place, especially when you consider many of those are not fighters needed to defend one's nation.

Midlander6518 Jan 2019 12:06 a.m. PST

That 50-70% isn't just servicability though: there is a deliberate and carefully planned policy of rotating airframes through deep maintenance and reserve to spread the wear across the whole fleet. It would be more interesting to see the immediate operational availability rate within the intended active fleet.

Absolutely the agree the RAF is far too small – the same goes for the RN and the front-line heavy units in the British Army too. Unfortunately the only cure for that is money and UK voters don't think defence is a high priority.

Lion in the Stars19 Jan 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

@Midlander: That's a really good policy to have. I think the US is also doing some of that with F15s and 16s, and should be doing that with F22s.

I know that a 'heavy check' on a commercial airline takes the bird out of service for a little over a month (~35 days), and I think that is roughly annually. So for a relatively simple commercial aircraft (no weapons systems!), you're looking at ~85% availability in the front lines.

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