Marine Corps Aviation’s hard, ambitious road ahead

The excellent Worldwide War Pigs blog today forecasts the challenges awaiting the US Marine Corps’ scheduled entry-into-service for the F-35B in 2012, or up to two years before Lockheed Martin has finished testing it.


With such an early IOC and SDD still in progress, this means that therewill be a lot of “mistake jets”. Where engineering fixes yet to befigured out in testing will be worked on later. This by itself will befodder for the broken-rifle-all-defense-programs-are-bad-club: “USMC’s New Fighter Can’t….(fill in the blank).

But it’s also worth remembering that the F-35B is really just the tip of the iceberg for the USMC.

The USMC is currently standing up the MV-22 and UH-1Y fleets, while preparing the AH-1Z and F-35B to enter operational and development testing, respectively. Meanwhile, both the VH-71 and the CH-53K are in the thick of their development phases.

Virtually every component of the USMC’s rotary and strike fleets is undergoing modernization or replacement at the same time, even as the operational service fights two wars and maintains readiness levels.

It makes you wonder: how long can they keep this pace going?


ch53k_howitzer.JPG






, , , , , ,

4 Responses to Marine Corps Aviation’s hard, ambitious road ahead

  1. Royce 28 October, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    They’ll keep the pace up as long as the Congress wants to support a lot of aircraft programs based on the idea that the USMC will operate as an independent expeditionary force. STOVL fighters, tilt-rotors, a different type of attack and transport helicopter from the army. Even as militaries around the world to combine separate service fleets to save cash, we continue to build an entirely separate air arm in the marines because of interservice rivalry and distrust. It’s a costly method of dealing with the problem.

  2. Stephen Trimble 28 October, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    I had a two-hour-long interview with the head of Marine Corps aviation — LtG Trautman — back in July. I’ve regretted ever since that I failed to ask him the most basic question: why does the US Marine Corps need its own air force?

  3. sferrin 29 October, 2008 at 10:59 pm #

    “why does the US Marine Corps need its own air force?”

    For the same reason the Navy and Army need there’s- “if you want it done right. . .” That and the different services have different priorities.

    “This by itself will be fodder for the broken-rifle-all-defense-programs-are-bad-club: “USMC’s New Fighter Can’t….(fill in the blank).”

    With ELP leading the charge. Sometimes I wonder if he’s channeling Carol Kopp ;-)

  4. SMSgt Mac 1 November, 2008 at 1:32 am #

    That would be Carlo Kopp?
    But I “got it”….. and was ROTFLMA. Too funny.
    Thanks!

Leave a Reply