USMC Harrier II Plus funding

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS ANNOUNCED on May 16 that it had received a $102 million contract award for remanufacture of four existing AV-8B airframes to Harrier II Plus standard. The contract forms the first phase of the upgrade of 73 USMC AV-8Bs to the new radar-equipped, night-attack configuration in a $1.7 billion deal which will be completed in 2002. It had previously been planned that all 114 of the USMC’s earlier AV-8Bs would be upgraded but funding cutbacks have reduced this figure.

Upgrading takes around 12 months per airframe and includes fitting a new fuselage, which is considered a cheaper alternative to

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Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9TIEC

FURTHER DETAILS have been released about the Ministry of Defence contract awarded to BAE Systems in January for upgrading the Tornado GR4 (see Communication Upgrades, March p6).

Valued at £200 million, the Capability Upgrade Strategy (Pilot) [CUS(P)] involves the design, development and integration of an upgraded secure communications system, introduction of a tactical data link, and integration of the Paveway IV precision guided bomb.

Implementation is planned in two stages; capability A covers release to service for multi-mode secure communications system (SCOT); Paveway IV precision guided bomb; and software enhancements to improve the GR4’s controls and displays. The Tactical Information

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The Fights Still On

Mark Ayton visited 801 and 899 Naval Air Squadrons at RNAS Yeovilton to review the conversion training and frontline tasking of the Royal Navy’s Sea Harrier FA.2 fleet, now in its final 22 months of operation.

RNAS YEOVILTON, Somerset, is the home of the Royal Navy’s Sea Harrier FA.2 fleet, comprising one frontline squadron, 801 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and the Sea Harrier training unit 899 NAS. As of July 2004, the Sea Harrier has 22 months of service remaining with the Royal Navy. Originally planned to be in service until 2012, its early retirement is the result of a

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Testing for War

WHAT’S NEW IN the world of RAF attack aircraft? Squadrons may claim that their aircraft are to the latest operational standards, but by the time that a new piece of kit is fitted to a Tornado or Harrier it will be well familiar at Boscombe Down. Famous as the base of the MoD PE’s Aircraft & Armament Evaluation Establishment’, this Wiltshire aerodrome is also host to an RAF unit dedicated more to operational development than test flying and aircraft handling. The Central Tactics & Trials Organisation (CTTO) reports to HQ Strike Command at High Wycombe and directly controls its own

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Sea Harrier – The Next Generation

A photo-report on the Sea Harrier F/A.2 by Neil Mercer.

ANOTHER CHAPTER of aviation history closed at the end of February, when 800 Naval Air Sauadron (NAS) returned with HMS Invincible, after six months in the Adriatic. During its time there it had been carrying out reconnaissance and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) missions in support of the United Nations Operation Deny Flight. Its return marked the last operational deployment of the Falklands War victor, the Sea Harrier FRS.l. However, at the same time, a new and infinitely more capable type is about to replace it on the front line.


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Marine Harriers Over Afghanistan

Warren E Thompson profiles US Marine Corp AV-8B Harrier operations in Afghanistan undertaken by VMA-513, the ‘Flying Nightmares’.

THE SOVIET Union sent its military forces into Afghanistan in 1979 with the aim of extending its influence in that area of the world. Ten years later, it pulled out after losing 15,000 men. Soviet aircraft losses were also extremely high — unable to cope with the unconventional type of warfare that the Mujahideen used, the Russians paid heavily for the lesson. Moving forward 13 years, the rugged and desolate terrain of Afghanistan again became a battleground, though this time not for

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Harrier on Display at Bentwaters

The Bentwaters Cold War Museum in Suffolk has added BAe Harrier GR.3 ZD667 to its collection. The aircraft was the first in a batch of four GR.3s delivered to the RAF as a stopgap while it waited for Harrier GR5s to become available. It served eight years on the front line, including time in Germany.

Surplus to RAF requirements, ZD667 passed to the Royal Navy, for carrier deck aircraft handling training at Culdrose,

Cornwall. On the retirement of the Sea

Harrier, the GR.3 was moved to Predannack,

Culdrose’s satellite airfield, in May 2007 for fire and crash rescue training.


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Harrier GR.9 Enters Service

JOINT FORCE Harrier and BAE Systems rolled out the Harrier GR.9 at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, on October 11, in a ceremony marking the type’s front-line service entry with 1 (F) Squadron.

The £500 million improvement programme involves upgrading all 60 Harrier GR.7s and nine T.lOs to GR.9 and T.12 standard respectively, extending the Harrier’s effectiveness until the F-35 Lightning II enters service, currently planned for 2018.

Conversion work is being undertaken by BAE Systems on the Joint Update and Maintenance Programme (JUMP) line at Cottesmore. On October 11, 24 single-seat GR.9s and one two-seat T.12 were in RAF service. The

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U.S. Marines will be engaged in the modernization of stormtroopers AV-8B Harrier II

U.S. Marines engaged in the forthcoming modernization decked stormtroopers GDP AV-8B Harrier II development by the Boeing Company. After passing a series of improvements stormtroopers will last before 2030. According to company president Julie Price on Boeing AV-8B Harrier II is a modern system of data transmission link 16 also plans comes installing missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM with helmet-mounted target designation system. Will be installed on the aircraft airborne radar APG-65, manufactured by Raytheon (multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar AN/APG-65 equipped carrier-based fighter F/A-18 Hornet, the first time this radar on the AV-8B was tested in 1987 — approx. ‘ VP «).

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Why pretend to be male Marsh Harrier females

November 9, 2011 14:25

To avoid collisions with potential rivals, some male Marsh Harrier "dress" in females.

Males and females of Marsh Harrier differ in appearance: males gray plumage and yellow eyes, female mainly brown with white shoulders and head and brown eyes. In addition, a third more females than males. It would seem surprising: in many species, the males and females differ from each other. But there is a rare marsh harriers in birds phenomenon: some males literally change into a female — and they remain in such an outfit for life.

Around the second year 40% of

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