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Squads the convert to F35 (Where do old aircraft go)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:03 am

When fighter squads convert to the F-35, where do the older fighter go? They don't end up at AMARC (the boneyard) so where do they go? Or am I missing something?
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Re: Squads the convert to F35 (Where do old aircraft go)

Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:54 am

kitplane01 wrote:
When fighter squads convert to the F-35, where do the older fighter go? They don't end up at AMARC (the boneyard) so where do they go? Or am I missing something?

Assume you mean fighter squadrons?

Depends on the nation and what they are converting from. For example the USMC is retiring classic Hornet aircraft when they are replaced by F-35B/C. Usually the better airframes will continue on with other squadrons but that also depends which Production Lot they are. The USN/USMC, and to a lessor extend the USAF, like to keep aircraft in squadrons from the same production lot if possible as it simplifies maintenance.

Retired airframes do end up in the boneyards but some are chopped up because they have reached their service limits. The USAF is converting old F-16s to QF-16s which function as target drones so that is another use.
The QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target will provide the next generation of combat training and testing for U.S. warfighters. Retired F-16 aircraft are converted into QF-16 aerial targets for the purpose of testing newly developed weapons and tactics.

Lots of reclamation and scrap of airframes also continues to occur at AMARC.

Parts reclamation at AMARC.
The area to the east is used to store aircraft which are in the process of being reclaimed for parts. In Fiscal Year 2012 AMARG "pulled" more than 10,000 parts, with a value of $472 million. In that year the five fleets calling for the most parts were the Air Force's F-15, B-1B, F-16, C-5, and C-135. ... neyard.htm

Scraping at AMARC,
Once a military plane is stripped of parts, the remains are put up for bid to private scrap dealers.

On occasion aircraft are also sold to other nations, for example the RAAF selling some of their older F/A-18A Hornets to the RCAF.

Canadian media has reported the sale of 25 former RAAF F/A-18A/B classic Hornets to Canada has been finalised and the transfer of the aircraft will commence this year.
The January 3 report in Canada’s National Post says 18 RAAF Hornets will be acquired by Canada to bolster the Royal Canadian Air Forces’ own CF-18 Hornet flying ranks, while an additional seven aircraft will be acquired for spares and testing. ... ed-report/

Additionally some airframes are sold to private collectors, some are sold to companies who operate contract Aggressor services such as Draken International buying Mirage F-1s.

On July 5th, the first of 22 former Spanish Air Force Dassault Mirage F1M combat aircraft arrived at Draken International’s primary maintenance facility in Lakeland, Florida. As WarbirdsNews readers will remember, Draken purchased the fleet back in November, 2017. The type will become the backbone of the company’s advanced, radar-equipped, supersonic aggressor fleet, alongside a dozen ex-South African Air Force Atlas Cheetahs (derived from the Dassault Mirage III) which Draken purchased in December 2017 (see press release). As the demand for increased capacity of adversary resources continues to soar, both domestically and overseas, Draken’s new Mirage and Cheetah jets will provide the USAF, USN, and USMC with an advanced radar-equipped supersonic platform which their pilots can fly against in real-world, combat training scenarios. ... e-f1m.html

Very occasionally you also see these types of sales,

Palm Beach, Fla.-based Jet Lease has listed a 1980 F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon for sale — and the rare offer made waves online.
The 1980 multirole fighter jet, which has an $8.5 million price tag, is being offered alongside two other F-16 Vipers, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also writes about defense topics.
This is not your average “used” fighter jet — the plane is a fully functioning combat aircraft and not demilitarized. ... le-florida

So the answer to your question is sometimes boneyard and sometimes with someone else depending on the age, capability, condition and cost of the airframe.
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Re: Squads the convert to F35 (Where do old aircraft go)

Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:56 pm

The USMC's legacy Hornets are so worn out, I'm sure those are stripped
and scrapped at AMARC as soon as they arrive.

IIRC, the Navy's legacy Hornets that still have life left in them are being handed over to the Marines
as fill in aircraft until they have enough F-35B's
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Re: Squads the convert to F35 (Where do old aircraft go)

Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:19 am

I believe a lot are stripped for parts/spares, some are scrapped, and others go to squadrons that need additional aircraft (either short on aircraft or need spare frames for maintenance rotation) or replace older aircraft.
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Re: Squads the convert to F35 (Where do old aircraft go)

Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:27 pm

I flew an early C-5A in the D-M; a month later the DCM said his shops were parts off that very plane. And we paid AMARC for those parts. F-100s, the 400 of 2200 produced that survived were boneyard’d, converted to drones and ultimately shot down in training exercises. I was in PDX at the Guard looking at F-100 models in the display case and asked about them. “We shot those down at Tyndall”. “Oh, I flew that one, how dare you”.


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