Sixteen Harrier GR.7/9 V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) jets flew over the UK Midlands Wednesday to mark the type’s retirement from British military service. The 70-strong Harrier force fell victim to the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has since rushed to ground them in a vain attempt to stem criticism of the decision.
BAE Harrier II
The UK took a step toward airborne network-centric warfare this month when it confirmed that the Tactical Information Exchange Capability (TIEC) would be added to Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9 combat aircraft. General Dynamics UK is the key provider of TIEC, which allows ground troops to transmit the coordinates of targets that they have identified into the cockpits of RAF Harrier GR9 and Tornado GR4 aircraft.
Last month Lockheed Martin chose Smiths Aerospace and Eaton Aerospace to participate in testing the F-35 JSF program’s approach to performance-based logistics (PBL) during the first phase of low-rate initial production of the multi-role stealth aircraft. The U.S. Department of Defense selected the F-35 as a candidate pilot program in 2004 to test revised contracting, budgeting and financing processes for PBL agreements.