James Geurts, assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for research, development and acquisition, has said the service is working towards meeting Defense Secretary James Mattis’ readiness target for fighter planes, USNI News reported Wednesday.
Mattis recently called on the Navy and U.S. Air Force to increase the mission capability rate of F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 jets to 80 percent starting in fiscal 2019.
Geurts announced during the National Defense Industrial Association’s Expeditionary Warfare Conference that Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of the Naval Air Forces, will lead the Navy in reaching Mattis' readiness goal for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-18C Hornet aircraft fleets.
Miller plans to leverage maintenance and management practices from the commercial aviation sector to continue expanding the service's mission-ready fighter aircraft and meet Mattis’ readiness goal, according to Naval Air Forces Spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders.
Geurts added that the Navy and Marines Corps are considering the impact of future contracting processes on maintaining aircraft platforms, as well as the elimination of legacy planes to focus on sustaining newer models.