When I first reported on this awhile ago, I was asked if the USMC might use the the UK HARRIERS for more then spare parts and my response was along the lines of "it might be possible but..."
I think most know what the "but" was as posted in this thread somewhere. Someone out here knows very well what NAVAIR does and what it's responsible for when it comes to both
USN and USMC aviation. There is no information to support the USMC is flying or has assigned any UK HARRIERS to any USMC SQD.
From June this year...
"The sale of these [aircraft] supplies critically needed AV-8B aircraft parts," NAVAIR says.
"Many of these parts are obsolete with no source of manufacture. As a result, the USMC has realized an immediate improvement in readiness."
But contrary to media reports, the USMC never had any intention of flying the British jets. Nor did the service ever consider replacing the Boeing F/A-18D fleet with the GR9. "The USMC operation of UK Harriers was not under consideration," NAVAIR says.
Here's the full article and there's more.
With the NAVAIR website...
1. Not listed on under Fixed Wing aircraft.
2. Search result for UK Harriers...No Results Found.
3. Search result for GR 9 Harrier...About 8 hits for the
4. Search result for Harrier...I think it was 33 all concerned with the AV-8B/II to include SQD. deployments.
5. Searched 36 pages of NAVAIR and associated commands "PAO" press releases back to 5/21/2010. with no results.
Did learn that AV-8BII has successfully flown on a bio fuel, PMA-257 that is in charge of maintaining the USMC Harriers got a new CO very recently and that I might've missed the below news along with the fact it illustrates the point of this exercise.
Found this along the way USMC retired the CH-53D end date change might be required...
With the HARRIER flying until 2030 this was the only viable option to buy well maintained Harriers for spares with the exception of Spain that had theirs updated I believe last year or 2010 in the U.S. There were also many stories around the time of and in the early stages of the sale that many of the UK airframes suffered from structural fatigue issues. Some was reported by UK MOD and supposedly mostly repaired during the last upgrade period that brought the GR.7 to the GR.9 standard
~2007/2008. I feel these later stories were a "cover" to soften the issues of the price the USMC was able to buy them for.
If NAVAIR doesn't say they're flying...they're not.
I've liked the HARRIER since I was well...a little younger and that was the UK version of course back then. There was an excellent book written on the UK HARRIERS in the Falklands War by a SQD. Leader that I believe got two kills there. Might be posted somewhere in the thread where the HARRIER posts are.
The HARRIER remains one of the best Ground Attack aircraft out there in both it's last UK versions and currently as the AV-8BII and I have to say Spains new version as well.