BAE Systems to Support U.S. AV-8B Harrier II Fleet to 2029

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Jarrel Bullock launches an AV-8B II Harrier off the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in this 2013 photo. U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Forbes II

LONDON — BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace have signed a nine-year agreement to enhance availability of the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II fleet, the company said in a Jan. 12 release.  

The U.S. Department of the Navy awarded Vertex Aerospace LLC the $123 million contracted maintenance, modification, aircrew and related services (CMMARS) task order in July 2020 to provide aircraft maintenance and contractor logistics support services for the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier fleet.   

Vertex Aerospace selected BAE Systems as a subcontractor for the new logistics support contract, which will ensure increased efficiency of maintenance operations for the Harrier fleet using predictive maintenance techniques and smart stock optimization tools. Together, BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace will support the crucial training and combat operations conducted from U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and forward operating bases.  

This contract builds on BAE Systems’ existing role in maintaining the AV-8B Harrier’s reaction control system and providing engineering and technical support. Engineers from BAE Systems will work alongside Vertex and the U.S. Marine Corps at stations in Cherry Point, North Carolina; Yuma, Arizona; and Madison, Mississippi. They will be supported by a specialist team in the U.K. with a proven pedigree of delivering maintenance and support contracts for the Royal Air Force.  

“The Harrier is one of the most iconic military aircraft ever created, with its British designed short take-off and vertical landing technology,” said Tom Fillingham, senior vice president – U.S. Programs, BAE Systems Air. “Our expertise with the aircraft goes back 40 years and this new contract with Vertex Aerospace ensures we can continue to apply our expertise to support the U.S. Marine Corps in their crucial operations.”  

Dave Nagy, director of flight solutions, BAE Systems Inc. Intelligence & Security, said, “We’re proud to support our customer’s mission through the AV-8B Harrier program. We are ensuring these aircraft maintain availability until the F-35 replaces the AV-8B. Working together with Vertex as a trusted partner on various U.S. Marine Corps programs, we are demonstrating our capabilities in aircraft modernization, countermeasure system upgrades, and integration activities.”   

“Extending our partnership with BAE Systems to support our U.S. Marine Corps’ important AV-8B pilot training mission just made sense,” said John “Ed” Boyington, CEO and president, Vertex Aerospace. With a combined 100 plus years of aerospace and defense experience, we understand the challenges warfighters face and remain keenly committed to improving aircraft readiness while maximizing efficiencies.”