Yup, you read that correctly. With the help of spare parts scavenged from Britain’s old GR9 Harriers that the Marine Corps just bought from the UK, the Marines could keep their AV-8B Harrier jump jets flying until 2030. Yes, the Harriers could serve alongside, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, and whatever jet is selected as the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike jet. Remember, the F-35B short-takeoff and vertical landing version of the JSF was originally supposed to start replacing the Marines’ Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets by oh about now. You all know what’s happened to that plan. The AV-8B entered service with the Marines in the mid-1980s.
Naval Air Systems Command has done a structural analysis of the Harriers’ airframes and concluded that the jets will be good, with plenty of maintenance, to fly through 2030, said Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, the Navy’s program executive officer for tactical aviation during the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference in National Harbor, Md.