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The Air Force's F-22 Raptors Won't Meet the Pentagon's 80-Percent Readiness Goal

David Axe
By Myself (Adrian Pingstone). - My own photo, taken with a Nikon D5300 DSLR and Tamron 70-300 lens., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50555308

David Axe

Security, Americas

Oh no.

The Air Force's F-22 Raptors Won't Meet the Pentagon's 80-Percent Readiness Goal

“Historically, these rates for the Raptors have been notoriously low, typically hovering around 50 percent."

The U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters won’t meet the 80-percent readiness goal that former defense secretary Jim Mattis decreed before quitting the Defense Department in protest of Pres. Donald Trump’s foreign policy in January 2019.

Mattis had mandated all Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22 and F-35 squadrons to achieve an 80-percent mission-capable rate by the end of September 2019.

In March 2019 then-Air Force secretary Heather Wilson warned that the 186-strong F-22 force might fall short of the readiness goal. Three months later Air Force brigadier general Heath Collins, the service's program executive officer for fighters and bombers, made it official.

(This first appeared in June 2019.)

Collins spoke to reporters during the Life Cycle Industry Days at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in mid-June 2019. He admitted the five front-line F-22 squadrons would fall short of 80-percent readiness.

“He did not give an official [readiness] figure, stating that the actual mission-capable rate for the F-22 fleet was classified,” The War Zone reporter Joe Trevithick noted.

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