Harrier Aircraft

Defence written question – answered on 13th December 2011.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the Harrier fleet is due to be transferred to the US; and on what date he plans to reconstitute sea-deployable fixed-wing air power at short notice.

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

The transfer of the Harrier fleet for use as spare parts to the USA has commenced with the arrival of 40 United States Marine Corps containers at RAF Cottesmore. The Harrier team are now loading the containers for removal and all Harrier assets are to be removed from UK collection points by 31 March 2012.

As announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, we plan to regenerate a carrier strike capability from around 2020, based upon an operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier fitted with catapults and arrestor gear and the F35C Joint Strike Fighter, and are currently investigating the optimum solution to meet that requirement, including the delivery timescales.

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