Aeroplane Database: Inside the Sea Harrier

Taking you into the cockpit of the FRS1 and FA2

The mid-life update that got seriously under way in in early 1985 and resulted in the Sea Harrier FA2 must be considered one of the most successful programmes of its kind undertaken in the UK. Let nothing detract from the sterling work undertaken by the Sea Harrier FRS1 during the Falklands War, but the upgrade to FA2 standard took advantage of the experiences of that conflict and produced a vastly more capable aircraft. In retrospect, the decision not to fit — or, at least, plan for — the uprated Pegasus Mk107 as part of the programme now seems an unfortunate omission. The FA2’s lack of thrust in high-ambient temperature operations ultimately proved a limiting factor and led to the type’s premature retirement in 2006. That said, hindsight remains, as it was back then, a fine thing.

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