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U.K. May Upgrade Harrier To Extend Life Beyond 2020

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posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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U.K. May Upgrade Harrier To Extend Life Beyond 2020
07/29/2005 08:55:30 AM
By Thomas Withington

LONDON - Despite the aircraft's age, the United Kingdom may upgrade its Harrier Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) fleet to extend its life beyond 2020, the ministry of defense said this month.

Such an upgrade would leave the design more than 60 years old by the time it left service. But the defense ministry is said to want to ensure that the Royal Air Force still has a potent VTOL close air support platform if the Joint Combat Aircraft, Britain's version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is delayed past 2012.

The prospective life extension program could include installing a single Link 16 datalink, improved defensive aids, a helmet-mounted target cueing system, the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and an updated reconnaissance pod. The estimated total cost is GBP 330 million (USD $574 million), the defense ministry said.

Meanwhile, 60 RAF Harriers are undergoing an upgrade that will allow them to deploy Brimstone anti-armor weapons and Paveway IV laser-guided bombs. The aircraft also are receiving MIL-STD 1760 stores management systems.

The Harrier has been indispensable to the RAF since the 1982 Falklands War and recently struck Taliban fighters in Afghanistan with CRV7 70mm (2.7 inch) rockets and Paveway II 1,000-pound laser-guided bombs.

Sound's like the MOD doesn't have any faith in the JSF being delivered
on time now does it.




posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Yet the MOD also want to sell HMS Invincible and the whole Sea Harrier FA2 fleet asap - Invincible is going next year; The FA2 Harrier is a more potent Fighter than the joint force harrier - the Sea Harrier has the Blue Vixen radar , which is the father to CAPTOR.



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
Yet the MOD also want to sell HMS Invincible and the whole Sea Harrier FA2 fleet asap - Invincible is going next year; The FA2 Harrier is a more potent Fighter than the joint force harrier - the Sea Harrier has the Blue Vixen radar , which is the father to CAPTOR.





I agree totally with you Harlequin theFA2 Sea Harrier is a awesome
aircraft especially armed with AMRAAMs and AIM 9 M/L s.
ASRAAMS would be better than the AIM 9s.
MAVERICKS would be usefull to add to SEA EAGLE and ALARM


[edit on 30-7-2005 by Jezza]



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 11:45 AM
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Well, Possible... But the EF was supposed to take over the Harrier, and I don't think that they have enough money for them both...



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Well, Possible... But the EF was supposed to take over the Harrier, and I don't think that they have enough money for them both...


British carriers do not have a catapult nor arrestor hooks

Typhoon is a land based fighter

so , how was it supposed to take over the navy harriers??



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Oh dear FIN, you put a smug smiley face on the end of your post but it was utterly wrong. Never mind.



I'm a bit surprised to see this report about extending the Harriers life, though lets face it, what we should have done was buy the radar equipped Harrier II+ YEARS AGO. Then we would not be replacing our only fleet fighter with a wholly unsuitable attack aircraft on the cheap.

Only yesterday I read a different report which was advocating scrapping the UK's F-35B plans and also reducing the number of Typhoons from 232 to 150.

In place of the cancelled F-35B and the 82 cancelled Typhoons the idea is to purchase 150 F-35C's instead, of these 60 would go to the RN for carrier ops making use of their greater range and payload over the STOVL version and the other 90 would be produced to a UK only FOAC (ex FOAS) strike requirement for the RAF allowing the retirement of the Tornado by 2015.

I'm not sure that I agree with the idea, even though it has some merit, as it is basically just another swingeing cut when you examine it.



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Replica would be much nicer for FOAS than F-35C



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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I would have loved to see Replica developed into an operational type but this is the UK! We don't do that kind of thing.



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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EDIT

Double post

[edit on 30-7-2005 by longbow]



posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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HAHA, UK will never cancel Typhoon in favour of JSF. Too much jobs would be lost and Germany and other partners would be not very happy with such decision...
And JSF still doesn't have Tornado range and capabilities. IMHO the UK will end without manned FOAS.... Because of budget limitations the FOAS will consist of Tomahawks/long range Storm Shadows and maybe UCAVS like X-45.



posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 01:17 AM
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What about the French UAV/UCAV..Neuron aye??
They keeping all other europeans outta this one??



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 10:51 AM
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I think that it is a smart move. I just wish that the U.S. Marines would be allowed to do the same to their AV-8Bs. I think that the whole F-35 program is going to tank. It is better to take the bird in hand......



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
Yet the MOD also want to sell HMS Invincible and the whole Sea Harrier FA2 fleet asap - Invincible is going next year; The FA2 Harrier is a more potent Fighter than the joint force harrier - the Sea Harrier has the Blue Vixen radar , which is the father to CAPTOR.


Invincible is going next year? Uhm, its being decommissioned tomorrow!

Its to be handed over to the MoD's Disposal and Reserve Ships Organisation where it will be mothballed until it is sold in 2010.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 11:34 AM
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Yeah the FA2 is an awsome plane...All 600mph of it. I tell you what I will be in an F-16 and somebody else in a harrier. I will take off from Ohio and the FA2 from florida and we will meet in the middle to dogfight. Or I will be waiting in the middle because the Harrier would never make it there with a 540 mile combat range. Once again awsome plane.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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700mph actually, and don't you think those argentine Mirage pilots thought the same when they faced the FRS.1 with their own mach 2 fighters? WITHOUT bvr capability either, don't forget, and the combat score in the Falkands was 28-0 in the Sea Harriers favour.

It is obviously a better fighter than you, or the MoD, realise.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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Did someone say the Maries should update their Harriers?



The Marines are probably wishing they never got them in the first place, they have been more trouble then they are worth. They have taken more Marine lives then some of the countries we have fought in the past. The Harrier is too accident prone and the F-35 is more capable than it.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Did someone say the Maries should update their Harriers?



The Marines are probably wishing they never got them in the first place, they have been more trouble then they are worth. They have taken more Marine lives then some of the countries we have fought in the past. The Harrier is too accident prone and the F-35 is more capable than it.


Show me one single other aircraft that currently can be bought, put into service NOW and replace the Harrier 100%. Sure, the F-35 could do it in 10 years maybe, but remember that the Harrier has been in service for over 35 years.

It *is* a dangerous plane, its also the best plane for the job - close air support, which is what the Marines use it for. It proved more than its worth in the Falklands by going up what people thought were vastly superior aircraft, and its had a uniqueness for the entirety of its inservice life.

Maybe if the Marines trained their pilots better, less of them would get killed. Thats what you get when your pilots become too reliant on computers doing their job for them.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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Just 2 days back, the UK retired its HMS invincible carrier.

check out this thread : UK retires invincible-news&pics



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice

Show me one single other aircraft that currently can be bought, put into service NOW and replace the Harrier 100%. Sure, the F-35 could do it in 10 years maybe, but remember that the Harrier has been in service for over 35 years.

It *is* a dangerous plane, its also the best plane for the job - close air support, which is what the Marines use it for. It proved more than its worth in the Falklands by going up what people thought were vastly superior aircraft, and its had a uniqueness for the entirety of its inservice life.

Maybe if the Marines trained their pilots better, less of them would get killed. Thats what you get when your pilots become too reliant on computers doing their job for them.



What makes anyone think that the F-35 is going to be easier to fly than the Harrier? If the F-35 makes it into service and I do mean if it is going to have the same characteristics as the Harrier. The main mistake that the Marines made in training their pilots to fly the Harrier is that they only trained them in fixed wing aircraft. They have since added a helicopter syllabus to the training and this has reduced the accident rate.



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499

What makes anyone think that the F-35 is going to be easier to fly than the Harrier? If the F-35 makes it into service and I do mean if it is going to have the same characteristics as the Harrier. The main mistake that the Marines made in training their pilots to fly the Harrier is that they only trained them in fixed wing aircraft. They have since added a helicopter syllabus to the training and this has reduced the accident rate.


Two things - computer aided hover and hot air ingestion.

The Harrier never had a computer onboard to take the stress out of balancing the aircraft on a column of hotair, so it was up to the pilots skill to do it. Unfortunately, this leads to activity overload on the piltos behalf if hes not careful and he can loose the aircraft easily. Training takes care of this, as it teaches the pilot to prioritise correctly.

Hotair ingestion is where, close to the ground, hot air expelled from the engine is reingested and it causes the engine to 'burp' and momentarily loose power. Good pilots can handle this, or even eliminate it from happening. Since the forward air column on the F-35 is cold air based blown down by a fan, this is unlikely to happen for that aircraft.

The F-35 is likely to have its own problems tho - that highspeed driveshaft and the rear shift nozel is likely to prove a bitch to work on for the engineers, and it doesnt look like you can viff in a F-35 either.




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