Overblog
Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
10 juin 2012 7 10 /06 /juin /2012 07:55

Harrier.jpg

 

Jun.9, 2012 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - The US Marine Corps is switching to a new way of tracking the fatigue life of its Boeing AV-8B Harrier II fleet as it struggles to keep the venerable jump jet in service until 2030, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) says. But the USMC is also doing what it can to keep the Harrier's avionics up-to-date as possible, the service says.

 

"The AV-8B is completing transition to a fatigue life expended model of structural fatigue tracking vice a total flight hour model that was used originally," NAVAIR says. "This model more effectively tracks the structural health of the aircraft by recording actual flight loads experienced instead of applying a worst case per flight hour service life penalty."

 

Once the transition to the new tracking methodology is completed, the USMC expects the AV-8B to remain structurally healthy without major modification until after 2030. "Structural modifications are a fact of life for any aging platform, however, as the predictive models must continuously evolve to keep pace with actual aircraft employment, emergent structural modifications/repairs will most certainly persist through end of service, independent of the actual date," NAVAIR says.

 

While the Harrier is structurally sound, securing a supply of spare parts has proven to be challenging for NAVAIR. "The focus is on development of an effective strategy that provides improved near/mid-term availability of high and low demand repairable and consumable material requirements to maintain readiness goals while providing long-term sustainment," NAVAIR says.

 

The problem was partially solved by purchasing 72 surplus BAE Systems GR9 Harriers, spare parts and associated support equipment from the UK. The UK aircraft and their associated hardware were transferred to the US over a period of five months, NAVAIR says. The addition of the British hardware to the supply chain will help the USMC sustain the Harrier to 2030. Previously, the lack of spares posed a real threat to the service's continued operation of the type.

 

"The sale of these [aircraft] supplies critically needed AV-8B aircraft parts," NAVAIR says. "Many of these parts are obsolete with no source of manufacture. As a result, the USMC has realized an immediate improvement in readiness."

 

Moreover, NAVAIR says: "Future capability is enhanced by the ability to maintain aircraft operability that would be otherwise be threatened by a dearth of necessary parts."

 

But contrary to media reports, the USMC never had any intention of flying the British jets. Nor did the service ever consider replacing the Boeing F/A-18D fleet with the GR9. "The USMC operation of UK Harriers was not under consideration," NAVAIR says.

 

Other NAVAIR Harrier sustainment efforts include entering into new contracts to improve the overhaul of repairable spare parts and long-term agreements for the supply of consumables.

 

"It is important to note, with the introduction of the additional material from the UK GR9 acquisition, the programme office is acutely sensitive to the fragility of the supplier/industrial base as the UK leaves the Harrier community and reduces the worldwide Harrier market to three remaining nations (US, Spain, and Italy)," NAVAIR says. "As a result, the programme office is taking a 'disciplined' approach to the infusion of the material into the US supply system."

 

Meanwhile, the USMC is doing what it can to keep the AV-8B's avionics relevant to 2030.

 

"Continuing modernization of the AV-8B is a must to reach the out of service date, both from a mission systems combat relevancy perspective and a survivability perspective," says Major William Maples, Harrier requirements officer at USMC headquarters. "The aircraft is funded for improvements to the Operational Flight Program (OFP), Required Navigation Performance/Area Navigation (RNP/RNAV) capability, and digital cockpit recorder over the next four years."

 

The effort is designed to ensure that the Harrier is digitally interoperable with the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), Maples says. The Harrier is a vital part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as its only fixed-wing combat aircraft. "The Harrier community will continue to bear a proportional load of Marine Expeditionary Unit and overseas contingency operations deployments through the end of its service life," he says.

 

The USMC has not ruled out future upgrades to the jet, and the AV-8B Joint Systems Support Activity at China Lake, California, continues to look for improvements that could be added to the aircraft. But "additional funding will need to be identified in future budgetary cycles to continue improvements to the avionics and survivability suites currently employed in the Harrier," Maples says.

Partager cet article

Published by RP Defense - dans North America
commenter cet article

commentaires

Présentation

  • : RP Defense
  • RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact

Recherche

Articles Récents

  • Externalisation de la Défense et de la Sécurité en France ? - 15 Décembre
    Le Comité directeur de l'ANAJ-IHEDN a le plaisir de vous inviter à la conférence : Vers une externalisation de la Défense et de la Sécurité en France ? Guillaume FARDE Maître de conférences à Sciences Po Paris, auteur de Externaliser la sécurité et la...
  • Chronique culturelle - 24 Nov.
    24 novembre 1977 : premier vol du Super Etendard de série 24.11.2016 source JFP 24 novembre 885 : début du siège de Paris par les Vikings. Très actifs durant le IXè siècle, les Vikings ont pris l’habitude de remonter les fleuves du Nord de la France pour...
  • Sortie en librairie le 21 novembre du livre LÉGIONNAIRE
    source MAREUIL EDITIONS Pour la première fois, un ancien officier de la Légion et un Légionnaire donnent la parole à 64 de leurs camarades. Pendant 2 ans, Victor Ferreira a rencontré près d’une centaine de Légionnaires à travers le monde en leur posant...
  • Brazilian Navy H225M Naval Combat Configuration
    17 nov. 2016 Airbus Helicopters Helibras and Airbus Helicopters have opened a new chapter in the history of the H225M multirole utility helicopter with the official presentation of the first aircraft in naval combat configuration. More info Helibras and...
  • Chronique culturelle - 17 Nov.
    La Bataille du Pont d'Arcole - Horace Vernet 17.11.2016 source JFP 17 novembre 1794 : début de la bataille de la Sierra Negra (Espagne) « opposant les troupes des généraux de Pérignon et Dugommier à celles du général espagnol de Carvajal. Cette victoire...
  • Le CEAM présente le CEILDT - Centre d’Expertise et d’Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques
    15 nov. 2016 CEAM Petit clip de présentation sur le Centre d’Expertise et d’Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques (CEILDT). Petit clip de présentation sur le Centre d'Expertise et d'Instruction des Liaisons de Données Tactiques (CEILDT).
  • Audition de M. Marwan Lahoud, président du groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales
    photo Aseemblée Nationale 9 novembre 2016 Commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées - Compte rendu n° 15 Présidence de Mme Patricia Adam, présidente — Audition, ouverte à la presse, de M. Marwan Lahoud, président du groupement des industries...
  • Chronique culturelle - 15 Nov.
    Jean Gabin, chef de char du Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers Marins 15.11.2016 source JFP 15 novembre 1315 : bataille de Morgarten (Suisse actuelle). Convoités à la fois par la Bavière et l'Autriche, les Cantons suisses (Uri, Schwytz et Unterwald) donnent...
  • Chammal : les artilleurs appuient les forces irakiennes
    10 nov. 2016 Ministère de la Défense Opération Chammal : les artilleurs de la Task Force Wagram appuient les forces irakiennes et participent à la sécurisation des zones conquises aux alentours de Mossoul. Opération Chammal : les artilleurs de la Task...
  • Chronique culturelle - 10 Nov.
    La bataille de Tolbiac, toile marouflée, Panthéon de Paris, France - Joseph Blanc (1846-1904) 10.11.2016 source JFP 10 novembre 496 : bataille de Tolbiac (Zulpich - Allemagne actuelle). Le roi Clovis écrase les Alamans près de l'actuelle ville de Cologne...

Categories