French warplanes and helicopters may be battling jihadists in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East, but the French Air Force on the whole is in a disastrous state, with 56 per cent of all its aircraft unfit to fly at any given moment, according to a senior minister.
“If I compare the current situation … of our planes with a car, it is as if I wanted to have a car every morning that works, I would have to own four cars,” Florence Parly, the armed forces minister, said during a visit to an air base in Evreux in Normandy.
Not that I really know about this area but this doesn’t sound too abnormal.
We have to have 4 Trident subs to have one at sea at any time, don’t we?
OK, slightly less flippancy. But military planes are built at the limits of the technology of the time. This makes them maintenance heavy. I don’t know what you actually expect, that 50% or 10% or what ever are undergoing airframe tune ups or whatever at any one time. But you’d expect – OK, I would – to have a lot more of the fleet out of action at any one time for normal scheduled reasons than you would for a civilian technology, no?
Which leads to, well, what is the correct number?