MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Statistics provided by the Corps to the Fox News television channel show that only 30 percent of 276 F/A-18 Hornet strike jets in its service are airworthy. Out of 147 heavy-lift Super Stallion helicopters, only 42 have not been grounded.
"This last 30 days our average flight time per pilot was just over 4 hours," Commanding Officer Harry Thomas told the network, adding this figure used to be between 25 and 30 hours a decade ago.
According to Fox News, "cannibalizing" – the practice of taking parts from one multibillion-dollar plane to fix another – has become the new norm as Marines are struggling to bring jets back into service. Many of them were worn down by lengthy campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.