Harrier Aircraft: Costs

Defence written question – answered on 5th December 2011.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the per unit purchase cost of GR9 Harriers was when the aircraft first entered service.

Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Harrier GR9 was not purchased from new but was an upgrade of the previous Harrier GR7 aircraft. This aircraft was itself an upgrade of the Harrier GR5 which was introduced into service in 1989. The upgrade to GR9 standard was achieved through a series of incremental steps implemented during normal maintenance periods under the £500 million joint upgrade and maintenance programme.

Including the historical cost of the Harrier GR5, as recorded in the Ministry of Defence's fixed asset register, and subsequent upgrade costs, the average cost of a Harrier GR9 was some £21.5 million.

Overall the sale of the Harrier fleet and associated running and maintenance costs will save around £1 billion.

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