The Harrier jump jet, while still in use in other countries, has been decomissioned in the UK, as the article below from the DailyMail mentions.

The Harrier jump jet for sale on eBay at £69,999

What are the causes of a still capable aircraft to be decomissioned?

Is it due mainly to political reasons, like this other article suggests in the case of the Harriers?

US military to buy Britain's scrapped fleet of Harrier jets

The US military has agreed to buy Britain’s entire fleet of Harrier jump jets after they were controversially scrapped under the Government’s austerity measures.

enter image description here In action: Harrier T2 XW269 on active service in Gutersloh, Germany

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's a good question, but really hard to answer in general. I guess for most military aircraft it's a mix of obsolescence, cost cutting and changing requirements but that's dependent on the case. (For example: the Harrier is seen as useful only in certain applications, and the B-2 saw only a few built because the situation had changed by the time it reached production.) $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Apr 18, 2016 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ In the Harrier's specific case, it was due to budget constraints. The UK Government decided to cut costs by scrapping the UK's Aircraft Carriers at the time. The Harriers operated from the carriers, so there was no use for them. The budget was transferred toward building the new Queen Elizabeth class carriers, which will carry F-35's $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Apr 18, 2016 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ Well, there's also inter-service rivalries at work. The RAF was instrumental in dismantling the Royal Navy's air capabilities. There are many reasons why governments scrap aircraft, it's not always logical or sensible to those outside the process. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ I would agree with @JonStory, as is says in your quote, "...scrapped under the Government's austerity measures". I think you answered your own question. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ @GdD - that makes little sense considering the RN will have significantly more air power in 2 years time than in any point in her history... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:44


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