Tuesday, November 15, 2011

USMC's UK Harrier Hedge


This is a smart, if not risky move.
Marines are close to buying 70 of Britain’s freshly retired Gr7/9 Harrier jump jets to keep the USMC Harrier fleet flying into the 2020s. This comes a few months after it was revealed that the Corps is slated to purchase about 80 F-35C carrier variant Joint Strike Fighters. This is clearly a hedge against delays with the F-35 program. The Marines have been all in on the JSF for years, saying that it was the future of Marine Corps tacair and that there is no plan B.
Smart because it gives them some breathing room for F-35B delays. Risky because it can give some short-term thinking money cruncher an excuse to say, "You don't need the F-35B - you have Harriers aplenty.

Overall though; smart. Phil agrees.

37 comments:

ewok40k said...

Well, this will definitely have Argentinians eye Falklands again.
Oh and did I mention they are building nuke sub?
General Belgrano lessons seemingly didnt go to waste, while in the UK entire Falklands campaign lessons are being burned away.

Eric Palmer said...

Well, it will be good that we will have some Harriers in service (for those that believe in that sort of thing) after the Just So Failed is cancelled.

Old Farter said...

Do these come with right hand drive? couldn't resist.

MR T's Haircut said...

interesting.. so they are gonna get out of the F/A18D business.  My guess is we are hedging bets on on the Gator Navy filling the gaps with CVW wings..

my take away is:
1-2 less CVN's with this deal.. good bye USS George Washington and CVW
reduced JSF buy
NO to keeping the F/A18 F as a stop gap

Spade said...

I'm curious as to the cost of the ones being used to replace D model Hornets.

What with Boeing offering good deals on Superhornets and everything.

CharleyA said...

So there apparently is a Plan B.  It is a smart move - some adult must have steped up and convinced Marine leadership to be reasonable.  As for Harriers replacing a two seat FAC(A), that is probably not as wise.  There are other options:  F-18F, AT-6B, ST, or possibly OV-10X.

MR T's Haircut said...

Kinda like the MG.... a british tradition

SouthernAP said...

From my understand the Marines were never super happy with the Superhornet and its electric cousin the Growler. That is why they are going to shoulder on with the Prowler until the mid 2020's until UCAV-EW and EF-35 works in the EW world. That is also why they are struggling to make F-18A+, F-18C and the Deltas work right now because they don't want to introduce a new plane into thier limited supply stream. Some of has to do with all the support equipment required at the Marine Air Logisitics side (ie the Marine version of AIMD or aircraft intermediate maintenance department). They don't want to spend the money for the upgrade of the conex Vans that carry the MALS around to deployment sites like Al Asad, Iwakuni, Korea, and other sites.

If I was DCNO for Air, I would pull the DCMC for Air into my office and tell him to save some face and pay for the upgrade to F-18F's or F-18G's and DCNO would pay to upgrade the MALS to support the Foxtrots or Golfs. That is what I would do, but I am just a nobody. it would save money all the way around, because it could be used to justify a bigger buy of the F-18E/F/G variants (and maybe talk them into getting a few EA-18Gs as well) so that the USN could also validate keeping the production lines open in St. Louis so that if the F-35 turns into a bust at least we aren't caught short of aircraft needs.

Anonymous said...

So will our British cousins have any Harriers left?

This may be good for teh USMC but bad for the Brits....but then again their Navy has depleted to the point where they cannot project power in any real fashion anymore.

SouthernAP said...

In case you haven't heard, the UK Ministry of Defense is being downsized to a couple of part time army guys with rubber band guns, a Boston Whaler, and a R/C helicopter to support thier welfare state.

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

This puts a lot of Navy money at risk too...we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on HM&E / C5I modifications on LHD's and LHA's.  I agree with the decision, but once again, lack of USMC foresight is screwing everything up.  LHA-6 and 7, anyone?  The USMC decision that they needed big decks without well decks has increased the cost of the LHA program tremendously (we have to now put one back in).  Marines need to think things through.  The Navy is having a hard time trying to keep up with the ever changing USMC requirements....

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

It's like Keeping up with the Devil Doggians.....

Kim Kardashian has nothing on the Corps!

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