US Navy struggling with fixed-wing aircraft depot maintenance timeliness

by Pat Host

The US Navy (USN) has completed its fixed-wing aircraft depot maintenance on time or ahead of schedule 52% of the time on average, according to a congressional watchdog.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a 23 June report, said that a number of factors, such as unexpected repairs and aircraft operating beyond their designated service lives, have affected USN depot maintenance timeliness for fixed-wing aircraft during fiscal years (FYs) 2014–19.

A USMC EA-6B Prowler on display on 15 May 2013. The platform is one of the US Navy’s two best performing aircraft in fixed-wing depot maintenance, finishing on average one day ahead of schedule over the past five years. The USMC retired the Prowler in 2019. (US Navy)

A USMC EA-6B Prowler on display on 15 May 2013. The platform is one of the US Navy’s two best performing aircraft in fixed-wing depot maintenance, finishing on average one day ahead of schedule over the past five years. The USMC retired the Prowler in 2019. (US Navy)

The annual average percentages for on-time or early-completion maintenance ranged from 45–63%. In total, the maintenance for selected navy fixed-wing aircraft has taken more than 62,000 additional days than expected since FY 2014.

In comparison the US Air Force (USAF) has completed fixed-wing aircraft depot maintenance on time or earlier an average of 82% of the time over the last five fiscal years. The annual average percentages for on-time or early-completion maintenance ranged from 78–90%. In total, USAF fixed-wing aircraft have spent 22,572 fewer days in maintenance than expected since FY 2014.

The USN aviation depots performed best on the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft and the Boeing NEA-18G Growler, which is a modified version of the Growler used for special testing. The navy completed depot maintenance an average of about one day earlier than projected on each platform.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-navy-struggling-with-fixed-wing-aircraft-depot-maintenance-timeliness

The US Navy (USN) has completed its fixed-wing aircraft depot maintenance on time or ahead of schedu...

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