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Other Harrier Options

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Other Harrier Options

Old 2nd Nov 2010, 18:51
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Snoop Other Harrier Options

With the UK's SDSR decision to remove JFH very soon, and the proposed French/RN knot tying was wondering whether other NATO options had been sought. Perhaps a NATO JFH using Navies that actually have the similar kit as the current RN.

Whilst US Marines are most obvious users, closer to home:

Italian Harrier:

Aviation Photo: Italian Harrier going Vertical | Patrick's Aviation

Spanish Harrier:

YouTube - Harrier N.A.T.O. Exercise.



Or at least sell the (export modified A/R) GR9s instead of making razor blades:

It seems India is still after VSTOL machines to replace lost FRS1s. Yes, GR9 not the same thing granted but still a capable workhorse.

"09-Aug-2010 09:24 EDT
Related Stories: Asia - India, Avionics, Fighters & Attack, Force Structure, Issues - Political, Missiles - Air-Air, Other Corporation, Radars, Support Functions - Other

Covering a potential aircraft carrier gap isn’t India’s only naval air issue these days. In response to a March 2008 question in Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament), India’s Defence Minister Shri A K Antony said:

“The Indian Navy is facing shortage of Sea Harrier aircraft. The ongoing upgrade of Sea Harrier programme has also temporarily affected the availability of the aircraft. Contract for the limited upgrade of Sea Harrier aircraft was concluded with M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in March 2005 at a cost of Rs. 476.69 crore [DID: about $109.8 million at the time]. The upgrade programme is expected to be completed by 2009.”

Can India’s Sea Harriers survive as an effective force, until MiG-29Ks aboard the rebuilt INS Vikramaditya can replace them?

India’s Sea Harrier Mk51s are old aircraft, predating the AV-8B+ Harrier IIs currently flown by the US Marines and Italian Navy, and their British GR7/GR9 or Spanish EA-8B counterparts. The V/STOL Sea Harrier fighters were inducted in 1983, with 25 used for operational flying and the remaining 5 as trainers. The current fleet reportedly stands at 13 as of December 2007, due to 17 crashes over the aircrafts’ service lifetime (a known hazard for Harriers). With only 13 aircraft on hand, cycling aircraft in for lengthy upgrades without disrupting already-low fleet numbers becomes a challenge.

The current upgrade program will involve new IAI Elta EL/M-2032 multi-mode fire control radars, RAFAEL’s Derby short-medium range air-air missiles, plus combat maneuvering flight recorders and digital cockpit voice recorders.

UPDATES


Aug 3/10: A CAG report says that Indian naval aviation has suffered in recent years, and makes it clear that on-time induction of MiG-29Ks into the fleet will be critical. As of Dec 30/09, fully 65% of India’s 30 Sea Harriers, bought from 1979-1986, have either crashed or been “rendered ineffective” and unusuable in some other manner.

Of those that remain, availability is only 42%, and the audit period included 8 significant accidents and 18 minor ones. That isn’t entirely surprising, as the Harrier is known as a difficult aircraft to fly, especially during vertical landings. Of even more concern are reports of problems with the Blue Vixen fire control radars, a squadron that had not fired missiles in practice since 2003, obsolete bombs, and minimum utilisation of the 30 mm guns on board the aircraft. Those are signs that India’s naval aviation may require additional training, in order to make up its previous shortfalls. DNA India | Express Buzz.

Aug 26/09: Sify News reports India’s grounding of its Sea Harrier fleet. Indian navy spokesman P.V.S. Satish:

“The fleet has been grounded for immediate physical checks on all the flying controls…. We’re likely to finish that in 48 to 72 hours and thereafter the fleet will be cleared.”
angelorange is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2010, 18:59
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Hoorah - another Harrier thread ......

Need the link to Sharkeys 'think' piece linked onto here just in case ...

instead of making razor blades
Those razor blades made from 'composite' material are going to sting a bit ....
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 00:34
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Here's an idea....

Engine out, few seats in the empty bay, few pieces of perspex over the nozzle apertures and a couple of Adours on the inboard pylons..

...Hey Presto, it's the ultimate 'Fast BizJet'


Oh.....you meant THAT kind of 'other Harrier options'


Flipflopman
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 08:46
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Oh dear....

"Indian air chief dismisses UK’s ‘iffy’ Harriers"

By James Lamont in Kalaikunda and Alex Barker in London
Published: November 2 2010 17:09 | Last updated: November 2 2010 17:09

Britain has hit an early obstacle in its bid after India, the most promising potential buyer, described the aircraft as “iffy” and obsolete.
Air Chief Marshall PV Naik, the head of the Indian Air Force, said on Tuesday he would be looking to acquire modern aircraft of fourth-generation capabilities or better. “The Harrier doesn’t fit into that category,” the Air Chief Marshall said.
His dismissive remarks over the “iffy” Harrier came soon after Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, the chief of the UK air staff, acknowledged the possibility of a sale while paying a visit to India to boost military co-operation and exports. India is one of the largest arms bazaars in the world and is seeking to modernise its aging, largely Russian-supplied airforce, to face threats from Pakistan and China.
The distinct lack of interest shown in the Harrier, which was decommissioned in the SDSR primarily on grounds of cost, will be a blow to ministers who are seeking to generate some much-needed revenue from the disposal.
Air Chief Mashall Naik’s words will particularly sting because the Ministry of Defence has spent more than £500m upgrading the Harrier avionics over the last five years and the jets could potentially remain in service until the mid 2020s.
Peter Luff, defence procurement minister, told the Financial Times this week that he was hopeful of finding a buyer for the Harrier, the pride of the Falklands war, in order to spare them from an untimely demise in a scrap yard or museum.
“There are a number of possibilities....we are looking at the options quite carefully at the moment. There are overseas markets, particularly for the Harrier,” he said.
India, along with the US, is the most likely purchaser, primarily because it bought about 30 Sea Harriers, an earlier variant, in the 1980s. Some are still used to fly off its UK-made aircraft carrier the INS Viraat, which once saw battle as HMS Hermes, the Royal Navy flagship during the Falklands conflict.
Defence collaboration was a key priority for David Cameron early this year as he led a 90-strong delegation of chief executives and cabinet ministers to India seeking to boost to trade.
An alternative is for the US to buy the Harriers to supplement its existing fleet used by the Marine Corps. Versions of the Harrier are also used by Spain and Italy.
The Harrier is one of several items of military hardware axed in the defence review that Britain is seeking to sell. Ministers seeking buyers for Nimrod spy planes, a programme cancelled shortly before the aircraft were coming into service, dozens of Typhoon fighter jets and warships including frigates and aircraft carriers.


Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010."

Sounds like a door closing to me....
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 09:39
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As the advert says:

"You British! You don't know how to haggle!"
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 10:13
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Perhaps if we offered to up foreign aid to India by an amount that equates to the value of a few dozen Harriers they might show an interest.
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 22:18
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Offer aid to India? Shirley Not.......

Maybe the other way round.

Last year we (the U.K.) gave India between £250 and £300 million in aid. Guess who has a fairly successful National space programme? It's not the country who donated the cash....

Let the door close. If they don't want second hand harriers at the price offered, too bad.

But,

If you're going to haggle, both parties start out saying no. Let's just see what happens long term
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 23:23
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Ministers seeking buyers for Nimrod spy planes, a programme cancelled shortly before the aircraft were coming into service, dozens of Typhoon fighter jets and warships including frigates and aircraft carriers.
Why do the press always call them the Nimrod SPY plane?
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 23:35
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Why do the press always call them the Nimrod SPY plane?
Probably because the Kipper Fleet spent most of its time playing the 'Secret Squirrel' card and probably ended up doing themselves out of a job as a result!!
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 00:06
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Perhaps the Thai navy would be interested in the Harriers, after all the Thais are masters at "iffy" business practices.
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Old 4th Nov 2010, 06:09
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"Perhaps the Thai navy would be interested in the Harriers, after all the Thais are masters at "iffy" business practices"

Doubtful - the RTN bought their little carrier primarily to fly helicopters from rather than operate harriers. I got the impression from talking to people linked to the project that the Harrier purchase from the Spanish was almost an afterthought.
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Old 10th Nov 2010, 17:35
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I seem to recall even the up-engined GR9 is a bit iffy anywhere hot unless there's a proper runway available (temperature that is not war zone where tis jolly good).
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Old 10th Nov 2010, 18:12
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I wonder if Argentina might be interested?
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Old 10th Nov 2010, 19:29
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Good point - after all we flogged them HMS Venerable and 2 Type 42s in the past!!
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Old 10th Nov 2010, 19:51
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Maybe they could a flog a few Sea Harriers for spares to Art Nalls over here in wonderful Viginia. An ex US Marine Corps AV-8 driver, Art flies the only privately owned Sea Harrier in the world which makes regular appearances at air shows in the US (lately at the Culpeper Air Fest where it lives).

He enlisted the help of a number of Marine Harrier ground crew to get it to flying condition and the troops used to travel up to Virginia from Cherry Point on weekends to volunteer their time. I hate to think what his fuel bill looks like.

Nalls Aviation - Home of the Sea Harrier to read all about it.

He also owns a Piper Cub and an L-39 Albatross. The dude must be doing ok.
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