Tuesday, 15 November 2011

U.S. To Buy Decommissioned British Harrier Jets - Defense News

" Britain has agreed to sell all of its 74 decommissioned Harrier jump jets, along with engines and spare parts, to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps - a move expected to help the Marines operate Harriers into the mid-2020s and provide extra planes to replace aging two-seat F-18D Hornet strike fighters.



The British GR 9 and 9As are similar in configuration to the Marines' AV-8B night attack version, which make up about a third of U.S. Harriers. The British planes also are night planes dedicated to air-ground attack, he said, and while both types carry Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensors, neither is fitted with a multimode radar such as the APG-65 carried by U.S. AV-8B+ models.
British GR 9s, although upgraded with improved avionics and weapons, are powered by the Rolls-Royce Mark 105 Pegasus engine. GR 9As have the more powerful Mark 107, similar to the Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408s that power Marine AV-8Bs.
British and U.S. Harrier II aircraft had a high degree of commonality from their origin. The planes were developed and built in a joint arrangement between British Aerospace - now BAE Systems - and McDonnell Douglas, now a division of Boeing. While each company built its own wings, all forward sections of the British and American Harrier IIs were built by McDonnell in St. Louis, Mo., while British Aerospace built the fuselage sections aft of the cockpit.

The Harrier IIs, built between 1980 and 1995, "are still quite serviceable," said author of several books on the Harrier Lon Nordeen. "The aircraft are not that far apart. We're taking advantage of all the money the Brits have spent on them. It's like we're buying a car with maybe 15,000 miles on it."


U.S. To Buy Decommissioned British Harrier Jets - Defense News


and some photo reference for the new Airfix Harriers from Fairford. Click on the image to open a high-res full screen copy







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