Harrier for Latin America

There is a counterfactual history in which, during the Falklands War, RAF Harriers and Royal Navy Sea Harriers found themselves in combat against… Argentine Navy Harriers and Sea Harriers. A deal to sell Argentina the V/STOL machine was, more than once, a very real possibility — and the same went for other Latin American nations, too

Hawker Siddeley’s Harrier T52 G-VTOL over the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue in Rio de Janeiro on 1 October 1973.

The Harrier was an ideal platform for Latin America. Even by the late 1960s and early ’70s, the region had comparatively little airfield infrastructure, and some of its naval aviation forces possessed a carrier-borne capability. With a long tradition of buying British, Latin American air arms knew well how to deal with equipment of that origin. But US pressure, combined with budgetary restrictions, saw the V/STOL jet failing to find a sales foothold.

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