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“The delay in the arrival of the F-35 has been costly,” he said. “We’ve had to add hours to legacy aircraft,” referring to planes approaching 6,000 hours.

“We think we can get even more,” he said, “but there’s only so far you can go.”

Navy resources are taxed because of the large number of ships deployed around the world. Adm. McCoy said the current 40 percent deployment rate “is not sustainable over time.”