H/t reader squodgy:
Just reading this & doing simple mathematics, an annual operation schedule of 250 hours is 10, full days.
Calculating back on an actual combat radius of roughly 600 miles which means it has a total distance travelled there and back of 1200 miles at an average speed of say 600kn = 2 hours/sortie/flight, divided into 250 hours/year = 125 x 2 hours sorties/year = a 2:1 downtime.
Simply speaking, it will only be in the air the equivalent of one calendar day every month.
Money well spent?
The trillion-dollar cost to operate and support Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet through decades of flight has increased by about $107 billion from last year, according to Pentagon officials.
The latest estimate — $1.12 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars — reflects new assumptions by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps that their versions of the fighter will fly more and last longer, according to Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program’s manager. The cost was originally estimated at $900 million in 2009.
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