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US to buy Britain's scrapped fleet of Harrier jets

London, Wed, 16 Nov 2011 ANI

London, Nov 16(ANI): The United States is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase Britain's entire fleet of Harrier jets, which have been permanently grounded since last year.


Rear Admiral Mark Heinrich, commander of the US Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP), said that buying the Harriers made sense because many of the jets had recently undergone a refit, and the US already had pilots who could fly them.


"We're taking advantage of all the money the Brits have spent on them. It's like we're buying a car with maybe 15,000 miles on it. These are very good platforms. And we've already got trained pilots," the Telegraph quoted Rear Admiral Heinrich, as saying.


Britain's Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it is negotiating the, sale but declined to disclose how much the US are offering.


"We are currently negotiating the sale of Harrier assets to the US Government. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment on the future of the Harrier fleet at this time," a spokesman said.


Historically the Harrier, capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) operations, was developed to operate from ad-hoc facilities such as car parks or forest clearings, avoiding the need for large air bases vulnerable to tactical nuclear weapons.


Later the design was adapted for use from aircraft carriers. (ANI)


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