BAe Awarded Harrier Upgrade Contract


Released on Thursday, January 23, 2003
AGM-65G Maverick
AIM-9M Sidewinder
AV-8B Harrier II
Brimstone
F-35B Lightning II
F402-RR-408
Queen Elizabeth
BAe - British Aerospace
MoD - Ministry of Defence
RAF - Royal Air Force
RN - Royal Navy
BAe Systems has been awarded a contract worth over £150 million ($230 million) from the British Ministry of Defense for the Harrier GR.9 maintainment and upgrade program.

According to BAe sources, the total value of this program is expected to exceed £500 million (about $800 million) over the next two years.

GR.9 program will give Harrier GR.7 updated digital systems. Integration and clearance of digital weapons will allow the RAF to hit a wider range of targets at longer range. Harrier GR.9 will be enabled to carry and to deliver smart weapons like Brimstone anti-armor missile and precision-guided bombs. Harrier GR.9 will support integration of legacy weapons like Maverick and Sidewinder AIM-9L missiles too.

This program also includes upgrading of two-seater TMk10 training aircraft to TMk12, equivalent of the Harrier GR.9 standard.

The first Harrier GR.9 aircraft are planned to enter operational service by 2006. Final delivery of Harrier GR.9 aircraft is due by 2007.

Gr.9 upgrade will be applied to 40 Harrier GR.7, only 30 of these aircraft will be deployed and operated by the RAF and RN squadrons.

Harrier GR.9 will be powered with Pegasus Mk107 engines, a more powerful upgrade of existing Pegasus Mk105 engines.

Harrier GR.9 is aimed to provide a smooth transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter selected by MoD in 2002 for the CVX program.

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