Navy is planning on purchasing the entire inventory of Royal Navy and Air Force Harrier jets, according to 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.
Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich, chief of the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps, confirmed the two-part deal Nov. 10 during a conference in New York sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in association with Defense News…
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence in London confirmed the Disposal Services Agency was in talks with the U.S. Navy for the sale of the Harriers. The deal had yet to be concluded, he said Nov. 11.
Britain retired its joint force of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Harrier aircraft late last year in one of the most controversial moves of the defense reductions, which also cut the aircraft carriers that operated the jets, other warships, maritime patrol planes and personnel.
The article goes on to say that the Harriers – perhaps representing Britain’s final transfer of empire – will initially go towards replacing fatigued FA-18D aircraft in Marine squadrons, while providing a bridge capability awaiting the roll-out of the vertical take-off F-35B.
In other Marine aviation news, with the retirement of the previous Deputy Commandant for aviation the gospel has changed, and the Corps has committed to procuring five squadrons of the Navy’s F-35C, designed for conventional shipboard catapult launches and arrested landings. These 80 aircraft will increase Team Green’s contribution to the Tactical Aircraft Integration program over the three FA-18C squadrons now deploying off big deck carriers. The procurement may also serve to reduce risk if the B-model F-35 runs into further technical or programmatic headwinds – a risk augmented by the dreadful state of the national fisc.
In which case, can you say “Super Hornet”?
Sure you can.