From what I understand of Harriers and why the UK got rid of them is that they are very quickly become outdated.
I may be wrong but they seem pretty obsolete for anything but ground attack missions. The airframe is old and there is just so much you can do with
refits. It wont have any new stealth capabilitys which are becomeing the new defence.
For bombing insurgents which have little more than IED and AK's to fire back it does the job fine but for anything more you will have problems.
The Marine F-35B IOC is July-December 2015. Keep in mind this is only the initial operating capabilities, which, while it does include CAS (the
primary role for the Harrier), it only uses the Block 2B software, not the Block 3F software that will allow it to be declared fully operational. The
Block 3F won't come in until AT LEAST 2018, and that's if everything goes according to plan.
The AH-1W Super Cobra is still a potent gunship compared to many others out there. And the Marines are far from the only users of the Cobra still.
Bahrain, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey all use them, as well as the US Army and Marines.
And I gotta say, the Forestry Service is getting serious about hunting down people that start forest fires.
Glad to see the Cobra being repurposed. It may be old, but I think it would do quite well in that field. Maybe the Border Patrol should look into
something like that as well. (Not armed mind you). Plenty of parts at Davis Montham to keep 'em flying for decades.
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