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U.S. Buys Used Jets From Brits

November 18, 2011 by  

U.S. Buys Used Jets From Brits

Last year, the British Royal Navy scrapped its entire fleet of Harrier jump jets following a defense review. The United States has agreed to buy all 74 of the planes in a deal that should close by the end of the week.

According to The Guardian, the trade has raised questions from military experts on both sides of the pond: Why does the U.S. military deem viable a plane that the British no longer believe is needed?

“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,” Lon Nordeen, author of several books on the Harrier, told Navy Times.

Britain retired its Harrier aircraft late last year with much controversy because the measure was part of defense reductions that also cut the aircraft carriers that operated the jets as well as other warships, maritime patrol planes and personnel. The British Ministry of Defense believes that the reductions in force will save the country hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

Officials haven’t said how much the total deal will cost the United States, but it is known that the military has spent about $50 million so far on spare parts alone.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    This topic should be prefaced with the idea that (according to a recent PLD article) the ‘US Debt Situation Worse Than Italy.’ Do you see where this is headed?
    The main benefactor of this ‘deal’ is the Marine Corps. Does this transaction put America’s rump in debt to the Brits? Do the Brits own America? That would be a twist, as China supposedly owns America.
    Uncle Scam, in his mysterious ways, will offer one or two “explanations,” but we can take some solace in the idea that the truth will come out – whether or not Uncle Scam wants it known.
    It makes me curious what we’ll do when America ‘needs’ more jets. What do we do when we need an army? How about spare parts for this or that?
    For my money (and it is my money and yours), what we need the most is LEADERS. Uncle Scam is utterly
    psychotic on that topic, and demands to be seen as
    THE expert (go away, mortals). He thinks leaders are BOUGHT. The American people know better than that.
    I’d say that either we RENT some leaders, or from now on, leaders will come in the form of ‘political virgins.’ That is, people who are not in the loop. People who haven’t been pre-paid. People who aren’t Washington suck-ups. Call it a form of ‘starting over’ again. Uncle Scam, it’s time for you to get off that drug that has controlled you for so long.
    Uncle Scam, you CAN be replaced.

    • eddie47d

      Get real SC and stop working in the baloney factory. If you bought a car from your neighbor and received title would that neighbor own you? Sometimes you don’t make sense at all.

      • 45caliber

        If you “bought” a car from you neighbor and promised to pay in ten years or so or promices to sleep with him/her in exchange for the car, does it truly belong to you and does your neighbor not have a hold on you?

  • David in MA

    Under a New World Order in a One World Government~~~everyone shares.
    Remember the communist saying: From each his ability and to each his needs. What are your abilities? What are your needs?
    Think abut that, very deeply, think about this ability/needs thing!
    Because no matter who you are (except those in control)or what your ability is, you NEED no more or no less than a welfare grabber— food, clothing & shelter….that’s it, and quality is no option.
    Share the “wealth”.
    Share the technology.
    Share the food.
    Share the medicine.
    Share the pain!

  • Norman F.

    What are you two talking about? Your posts have little to do with the purchase of the airplanes. No matter what your perspective is, this is a good deal! We have been working on short (or no) field landing aircraft for decades with only marginal success. We could have a high speed, high flying combat aircraft or we could arm helicopters. The latter has been done with great success, but the effort to combine the two has been done only with the Harrier. Lets not knock this deal because the British have decided to permanently ground good safe sturdy aircraft. We have done the same in the past. We have thousands of them in the desert in Arizona.

    • s c

      N, a small detail was left out of your comment. If you’re talking about the Air Force using the Arizona desert as a parking lot for retired planes, then we know what you mean. However, the A F doesn’t put planes there because they might be needed later. They’re RETIRED. They’re scrapped.
      The Harrier is a limited use jet, and it’s sub-sonic. I have a feeling that this is Uncle Scam’s way of saying that another war is on the horizon.
      Uncle Scam lost his street cred long ago, and this W H bunch isn’t doing anything to improve the situation. No cred = no respect. That’s Obummer.

      • bob wire

        We used a lot of “retired” hardware in Nam.

        I had a 41 Dodge Power Wagon straight out of the create with 300 amp welder working off the pto shaft, OEM jack and 45 cal. grease gun. All packaged in cosmoline. With instruction manual in English no less!

        The antiaircraft 40mm pom pom guns was a hoot! The best weedeater I’ve ever seen for the price.

        That’s the Marine Core for you, They are the only branch of service that has money left over at the end years budget.

        Those were tried and true operational weapons you can count on.

        That we wasn’t allow to win the war another issue entirely. It really wasn’t anything you could call as “winnable” without destroying a beautiful country and changing the landscape. It would have been sacrilege to attempt.

        • s c

          b, did you say core? Did you mean MARINE CORPS? If you were in the Marine Corps, you know damn well that your DI would have been all over your ass for a mistake like that. Obummer says ‘corpse.’ CORE? How
          long have you been making that mistake?

          • bob wire

            I’m Army, Infantry. I worked with the Marines off and on during my tour of duty of recovery, reclaim and extraction, Navy too sometimes, when they had some heavy ground work or just stuck tight in the mud. I was thinking I was was wrong in the spelling. ~ But should it stop me for knowing about the Marines or offering comment? Not every one had access to a 40 ton VTR retriever with 6″ Jen poles and 1000 horsepower of fire breathing angry monster at their disposal, Machine shops, etc. I worked out of Headquarters & A co, 725th Maintenance battalion with the 25th div. I ran service calls just like I do today over more adverse conditions. Our motto was, “Hang on we are coming” you might have seen us at some point.

            The Marines I worked with always had the old stuff,~ was that not so? That might have changed some today, everything else has.

          • bob wire

            After you are in a combat zone a while sc ~ you drop a lot of the pretense, rank and ceremony. My platoon leader was a chief warrant officer, just under a full bird. We had orders that came down from HQ and “customers” and all the toys the US Army had at our disposal. We did “favors”, favors was currency and could buy more then MPC (military payment certificate) You wanted a M48 pulled out of the rice patties, a Water Tanker full of young ladies driven across a picket line, a 30ft 50 cal. gun tower moved or built, An Ice machine, hot water showers? A coke? It was a long war on many fronts.

    • Bill

      Could it be that the British just wish to save a little money by letting us (U.S.) bear the cost of their defense?

      • eddie47d

        Good point although it could also mean that the Brits are sick of war and are making an attempt to get out of the business. Who better to trade with than the war loving Americans.

  • DavidL

    Britain is the current classic example of the wrong-headed notion that you should only cut your way out of a recession. Sound familiar?

    Money is a tool. When it’s cheap, use it. (SPEND IT) When it’s expensive, don’t use it. If you don’t understand this, then enjoy your poverty.

  • DanB

    Hollywood = major democratic donors and major source of democratic propaganda (right after MSM).

    Harrier jets popular in Hollywood movies, especially the ones higher on the progressive propaganda meter….

    Should I be surprised that a radically progressive administration would buy the harrier fleet?

    • bob wire

      You sure are a great dot connector! Can’t get anything passed you.

  • Randy131

    This is stupid, because the new US fighter, the F35, does the same thing as the Harrier, but much better in every aspect, bar none. The F35 is far superior to the Harrier and the USMC, which is the only military branch of the US that uses the Harrier, is looking forward to replacing them with the F35, that is a much safer A/C for the abilities wanted from it by the USMC, and out-performs the Harrier by a great deal in every other aspect. Thsi is just more wasted spending by the Pentagon procurement idiots.

    • George

      true the f35 is a better Jet. however sometimes it is numbers that are needed and when you can get all these Jets for say the price of a couple f35′s then you can better serve then marines on the ground. In WW2 we used the policy in several ways. Sherman tanks were inferior to all other tanks. The differences was we had so many more of them. Germans were building Jets near the end of the war. The US just built more P51′s. This allowed us to put more good planes in the air and in that way serve the milatary better overall.

  • Mechwarrior-Madcat

    Obummer cut the funding for the F-22 and F-35 so we only have a few of the prototypes while we have a couple of squadrons of Harriers. Some British planes that are in better shape will be put into service and the others that don’t make the grade are salvaged for parts.
    It’s a good call and what we’d spend for one F-35, we’ll probably get 74 Harriers.

    • bob wire

      Agree! The F35 is an awesome craft to be sure ~ but yet baptist by fire and extremely expensive. Today is a bad time to beef up with cutting edge toys.

      It’s always a time over money situation ~ Much like the P 48-P50&51 debut at the close of WWII, ~ The Brit’s had greater need for it then we did at that point in time.

  • bob wire

    Obviously that is some future need seen for jump jets as 44′s administration talks tough with the Chinese’s over currency and trade issues and the US expands it’s military presence in the Pacific with some fanfare as US air and ground assault marines(the point of the spear) leases encampment facilitated for a planed 150,000 war dogs.

    This area of the world is unique and lends it’s self to jump jets and hopping about with smaller facilities and support to contend with.

    I love the idea of leasing from our “down under” brother and sisters, always wanting to return but never made it.

    Smooth move. A win/win.

    • eddie47d

      This deal could also keep these Harriers off of the open market and into the likes of Pakistan,Nigeria,Syria or any other rouge nation willing to enhance themselves against their people. I would hope we’d be buying fewer weapons but at least they will be ours and not somebody elses.

  • Jim

    I just wonder what the Brits are going to use to replace the Harriers and the Carriers. Seems to weaken NATO more too. So somewhere down the line Europe will be screaming for us to bail them out again. I would have thought after the Falklands they would have never cut their Navy like this. They will be hard pressed to defend the Falklands or anywhere else if Argentina decides to go back in again. The Marines can use the Harriers for sure. But I don’t like seeing Britain made weaker, about the only ones on the continent that we can really trust.

    • bob wire

      Most worthy considerations Jim. My guess is they are shift the burden on Australian forces, advanced tactical vessels and drones.

  • Brad

    To my mind, this achieves 3 objectives:
    1) It’s bail-out money to the Brit government. They may be closer to financial collapse than previously thought.
    2) It keeps these jets out of the hands of governments that may be less friendly (Saudi?) to American interests.
    3) Far cheaper than the F-22 & F-35 to operate and maintain, and actually battle tested.

    • james fiske

      very good summary of a thinking person…here here!!!!

  • Talent

    Brad has got it in one….

  • http://personallibertydigest Lyle McDaniell

    Nice air plane, I would like to have one myself.

  • Gringo Infidel

    Only service that operates the Harriers in US are the Marine Corps.

    They are probably afraid that this current regime will cut its F-35 air frames to fund its own pet projects that few want – like obummercare.

    • bob wire

      Well, I’ll agree with you thinking that it’s Obama idea but only after consulting with the Pentagon. That’s the way it works. 43 was the only one that ignored the Pentagon council in recent years.

      As far as an cut in the f35 program, ~ maybe, I sure hope not but they are pricey, a lot depends on what the Pentagon thinks about it.

      O has elected to beef presence up in the Pacific. Even speaking with Burma about future plans.

  • cpl white usmc

    i think the marines know what they are doing purchasing these fine aircraft.marines are great at using used equipment as i have personally witnessed.these aircraft are far cheeper to maintain and will make a fine addition to our forces in the pacific theater of operation.

  • bob wire

    Nov 18th 2011

    Canberra, Australia (CNN) — President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the United States will take an expanded role in shaping the Asian Pacific region, with an increased military presence one step of that policy.

    “Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region,” Obama said in a speech to the Australian Parliament. “The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay.”

    • hitthedeck

      Obama doesn’t need to be sword rattling to China. We have enough problems without him flexing his puny muscles. He’s shooting off his mouth to the people who are holding the mortgage on America. China is probably the title holder on those Jets we just bought from Great Britain.

      • bob wire

        The Chinese are tweaking their currency bro , among many other things that undermine the system of supply and demand. It’s causing us great problems in the market world place.

        But if you want to kiss their backside and think it’s okay or that we are too weak to do anything about it, that’s your prerogative.

        I know that you don’t support our President, but in doing some you speak in a un-American fashion.

        This constant defeated, negativism from the “defeated” gets rather old after 3 years. You “guys” lost the election and the way the right has been taking on,~ like a bunch of spoiled children, they are going to lose it again. It was McCain’s to lose and he did, in Spades! That “Hail Mary” Palin VP pass was the final nail in his candidate coffin. He was already in the box and that put the lid on it.

        So do you plan to whine, piss and moan the next 4 years too?

    • s c

      b, in case you haven’t done the math yet (you haven’t), Obs is telling us via his utopian doublespeak that yet another war is coming. Obummer’s divine wisdom [and vast experience in military matters] will ‘save the day.’ Now all he needs to add is a rousing chorus of Wilson-style and FDR-style “I won’t send your boys to any foreign war.”
      Your W H ‘God’ is bought-and-paid-for, b, and he’s
      following his America-hating marching orders. You can’t weasel out of it, and you dare to pass yourself off as someone “responsible.”
      At one time in the recent past, that got some types fragged. It will happen again. We are NOT the world’s COP. So, did you ever have a use for the

  • Ivan Boatwright

    They may be useful for the USMC as close air support and small landing areas.

  • john

    I think some of the comments are off subject here fellas. When you can print monopoly money and are still allowed to spend it LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! I will buy the world a house. The Fed is the heart of the beast.

  • JimH

    As much stuff that we sent to Briton in WW2, under lend, lease, that was never repaid, they should just give us the planes. That would be a small start.

    • hitthedeck

      You can bet China is title holders on those Jets.

    • james fiske



  • James T

    Good point!!!!!!,maybe they should”ve sold them to China where the real money is!!

  • Talent

    JimH said….
    “As much stuff that we sent to Briton in WW2, under lend, lease, that was never repaid, they should just give us the planes. That would be a small start”.
    A lot of the stuff that was sent, before the US started building new, was waiting for the scrapyard. Still charged top dollar for it though! Well, what are friends for?? There were many innovations and inventions that would/should have been patented, that the US got for free. It may help your troubled senses to look carefully into the ‘Swing Wing’ ripoff where the UK was shafted good and proper. Or the spiteful Concorde debacle (if we can’t do it we won’t let anyone else do it). Don’t feel so bad JimH, what are friends for??
    By the way, the UK is still paying….

    • JimH

      Talent, Alot of the stuff was waiting for the scrap yard. Not all of it. What %?
      If the Brits would have been paid for the swing wing, how much of a dent would it have put into the debt they owe us?
      We wouldn’t buy the Concord. Who said we were obligated to.
      If after 71 years(1940- 2011) the UK is STILL paying. Maybe some Harrier jets & spare parts would go along way to paying off that debt.
      Cause that’s what friends are for.

  • http://none doc

    maye obozo will sell 2 or 3 jets to the drug cartels under fast the and
    furious program. and he make some money for his crooked czars and attorney general

  • 45caliber

    I think the whole idea of buying these is that some other country (England) needs money and this is a good way to give it to them. The fact that we need or don’t need these planes is simply not considered at all.


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