Final Flight

Posted by lex, on December 15, 2010

The Royal Navy’s Sea Harriers have harried their last sea *:

Britain’s Harrier jets took their final flight Wednesday before the 16-strong fleet is axed as part of spending cuts intended to help reduce a record budget deficit.

The decision to scrap the iconic military planes, and to send the Ark Royal carrier that hosts them into early retirement, means the Royal Navy will be left without the ability to launch aircraft at sea for a decade.

The distinctive grey Harriers took off from the Royal Air Force (RAF) base at Cottesmore, completing a fly-past of several air stations before landing for the last time…

Ministers hope to save about 900 million pounds in the next eight years by axing the jets, according to reports, as part of a major tightening of the military budget…

Former military chiefs have strongly criticised the decision to retire the Harriers, writing in a letter to The Times newspaper last month that the move was “strategically and financially perverse.”

For my own part, I always thought them awkward buggers, but I hate to see a capability zeroed out with no replacement for 10 years. The bean counters will inevitably say, “Well, you’ve trundled along fine without them for a decade. Why not try another decade more?”

Talk about your fighter gap.

02-22-21 Link gone; no replacement found – Ed.

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