AVIATION: U.S. Buying Retired Harrier Jets from Britain

November 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

Jump Jets

Gannett’s Navy Times/Defense News publications are reporting that the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are going to buy Britain’s moth-balled fleet of Harrier jump jets as well as all the Harriers’ Rolls Royce aircraft engines and spare parts. The purchase has been rumored for months and marks the first time in a long while that the U.S. bought used military equipment from anybody.

A British GR9 Harrier vertical take off and short landing jet over Afghanistan in 2008. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon via Wikipedia)

The United Kingdom (UK) mothballed its 74 Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Harriers after sharps cutbacks in defense spending last year.

The U.S., facing its own defense budget constraints and continued delays in the development of the next generation carrier-based fighter, the F-35 Joint  Strike Fighter,  has been looking for something to replace its aging fleet of Marine Corps AV-8A Harriers and Navy F-18D Hornets. Both of those aircraft are equipped with technology for night operations.

A Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier launches from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in 2005. (Photo by Airman Sarah Ard, U.S. Navy.)


The deal, which has not been finalized yet, will stretch the service life of the Harriers which can take off on short flight decks of the amphibious warfare Navy ships that transport Marine Expeditionary Units around the world. The Harriers can also land vertically like a helicopter.

A Marine Corps Harrier participates in night operations from the USS Bonhomme Richard (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joe Kane)




Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Washington, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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