Navy looks to Boeing for repair and upgrade of Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jump jets

PHILADELPHIA, 13 March 2012. U.S. Navy aviation experts are asking the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to repair and upgrade the U.S. Marine Corps fleet of ageing AV-8B Harrier jump jets under terms of a $30.9 million contract awarded late last week.

Boeing will repair various parts supporting the AV-8 vertical-and-short-takeoff-and-landing (VSTOL) attack jets as part of the contract, which was awarded by Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSSUP) Weapon Systems Support segment in Philadelphia. The Marines operate seven squadrons of AV-8B jets based at Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, Ariz., and at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C.

These aircraft, which are designed to land and take off either vertically or from very short air strips or aircraft carrier decks, form the nucleus of Marine Corps aircraft attack squadrons. The AV-8Bs eventually will be replaced with vertical-takeoff versions of the Lockheed Martin f-35 joint strike fighter.

The AV-8B is a second-generation VSTOL aircraft based on the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier jump jet designed originally in the in the 1960s. U.S. defense contractor McDonnell Douglas Corp. redesigned the British Harrier with a new wing, an elevated cockpit, and a redesigned fuselage, for Marine Corps use. Support for these aircraft fell to Boeing after McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997.

The AV-8B is a light-attack and multi-role aircraft that operates from small aircraft carriers, large amphibious assault ships, and simple forward operating bases. The subsonic attack jet has a Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 vectored-thrust turbofan engine, and a combat radius of about 300 nautical miles.

The jump jet can carry 13,200 pounds of bombs and missiles under six hard points under the wings. It can carry the laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (laser JDAM), as well as the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, as well as a variety of high-explosive bombs, cluster bombs, and napalm canisters for ground attack missions.

The AV-8B's avionics include the Raytheon APG-65 radar and the AN/AAQ-28V LITENING targeting pod. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/bds, or the Naval Supply Systems Command at www.navsup.navy.mil.

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