(Image: Ian Grinter, all rights reserved, reproduced with permission)
In a move that will be welcomed by aviation enthusiasts on at least one side of the Pond, it’s been reported that the UK’s controversially mothballed fleet of 74 Harrier Jump Jets, plus spare parts, will see active duty again – but not in Britain. The jets – many of which had been through a costly upgrade programme prior to retirement – are all to be sold to the US Marine Corps.
(Images: Dave Bellamy, all rights reserved, reproduced with permission)
Such news might not normally be consider Urban Ghosts’ core content, but we’ve reported on the Harrier before and wanted to highlight those pieces, in addition to announcing our newly launched Military category. In true Urban Ghosts form, we recently featured the crash site of a Harrier GR3 in the Falkland Islands, as well as our fully illustrated tribute to the iconic British Harrier - complete with images of abandoned jets.
Finally, we featured artist Fiona Banner’s Harrier and Jaguar exhibit at Tate Britain last year, and subsequently tracked down the two jets-turned-fine-art to a scrapyard in Harrow, London (click the thumbnails below for more information). America’s purchase of mothballed UK Harrier’s could keep the Marine Corps’ fleet active into the 2020s – a potential blow to early F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) sales.