In April 2022, the Congressional Budget Office published Availability and Use of F-35 Fighter Aircraft. That report used data through September 2021, the last month of fiscal year 2021. This update incorporates data for fiscal year 2022 and employs CBO’s recently developed approach for measuring the effects of aging on aircraft.
Availability and Use in Fiscal Year 2022. In 2022, F-35Cs’ availability and flying hours per aircraft exceeded those of F-35As and F-35Bs. F-35Cs’ availability increased in 2022; F-35As’ and F-35Bs’ availability decreased. Flying hours per aircraft increased slightly for all three fleets.
Full Mission Availability Rates. F-35As have had greater full mission availability rates than F-35Bs and F-35Cs. Full mission availability rates reflect aircraft’s ability to perform all—not just one or more—of their designated missions.
Effects of Aging. All three F-35 variants have experienced generally declining availability and use with age. However, all three fleets are composed of mostly new aircraft, so estimates of the effects of aging on F-35s are tentative and are subject to change as those aircraft mature.