Marines have 42 percent of Hornets on the flight line, 20 jets shy of flight-hour goal

By Lee Hudson / February 8, 2017 at 1:50 PM

The Marine Corps has 42 percent of its F/A-18 Hornet fleet ready to fly today including jets in its training and reserve squadrons and is 20 aircraft shy of making its flight-hour goal, according to the service's deputy commandant for aviation.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis told reporters during a Feb. 8 Pentagon roundtable that the service still has a large of number of jets that cannot fly but the figure is improving. The service has 171 Hornets in its inventory and 72 jets are on the flight line, he said.

The service selected three legacy Hornet squadrons to transition to the Joint Strike Fighter instead of AV-8B Harrier units because of low numbers in F/A-18 readiness, Davis said.

Davis called the F-35 production ramp "anemic" and said numbers will continue to grow. The Marine Corps can accommodate delivery of 37 F-35s each year, he added.