Cost of an Aging Fleet

By Air Force Association

Air Force aircraft are increasingly more expensive to sustain, yet less effective.
•Fleet averages 24 years in age.
•Maintenance costs for aging aircraft increases, while the fleet’s availability decreases.
•Aircraft structural elements will eventually fail over time—fatigue life cannot be ignored in the demanding environment of combat aviation.
•The Air Force current aircraft replacement rate averages 48 years.
Since Desert Storm, the Air Force has been flying an average of 2.2M hours per year, but with an inventory that is 31% smaller and 42% older.
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