It has been widely report that around 20% of Marine Corps aircraft are grounded awaiting maintenance. What aircraft are these? They’re mostly Hornets but also include Harriers, MV-22s, and helos. In other words, they’re older, legacy aircraft. Compared to modern F-22/35s, we could go so far as to say they’re simple and basic machines. And yet, 20% are grounded awaiting maintenance.
OK, that’s not a good situation but what’s the point?
Consider that 20% figure and the “simpleness” of those aircraft and ask yourself what the maintenance situation will be like when the Marines convert to the F-35, a vastly, hugely, immensely, greatly, stupendously [alright, that’s enough adjectives to covey the meaning] more complex aircraft. Do you think maintenance availabilities will increase? Of course not! If we can’t keep “simple” machines running, how will we keep profoundly more complex machines running? The incredibly more complex F-35 will suffer even worse maintenance availability.
Adoption of the F-35 by the Marines will exacerbate an already deplorable maintenance situation.