Recent addition, very likely to be C5 or greater.
As can be seen above they are looking at a potential upgrade to allow the carriage of AIM-9X block 2, but it’s probably waiting for the upgrade to go through on the AH-1Z as well before we see them loaded since there is likely a significant stock of older missile motors, so the potential for weaponeering to use up old motors is likely so we may well see the basic -9X first, since the motor is common between the -9M & -9X (basic).
The above reference is non specific but @MiG_23M might be able to help vis ID them since we know there are differences
Yes, that is 100% true, but one can argue its primary purpose for the cable upgrades is for additional stand off weapon carrying capacity as shown in the ugrade plan.
The aim9X is merely a defensive weapon. The Harriers would not operate in contested airspace. That is why they are rarely seen carrying 2x sidewinders.
The cable upgrade was for additional precision guided standoff munitions. Which strike and CAS operations are the Harriers primary role.
Additionally I have not had the chance to look into it yet, but the cable upgrade can be in reference to Aim-120C. Not the A/B
The Harrier can very well have always been Aim-120A capable on SA 1 & 7 and it is the C that needs the 1760 Cable upgrade.
Unless someone has proof, that all aim-120 variants require the new 1760 umbilical quick release cable. I have yet to find out.
Its also to allow organic protection of the MV-22 Osprey from the ESG allowing the partial replacement of F-14 / F/A-18 airframes that would otherwise be needed to provide the capability and allow operations to be performed independent from a CSG that would otherwise be needed.
What people tend to forget is that the Harrier always was, is, and will be a ground attack aircraft. You can shove an advanced radar and air to air missiles on it but that’s still not its primary purpose.
(with the possible exception of Sea Harrier. That said, even that had a reasonable A/G array)
Where is my air to ground on my sea harrier