AV-8B Harrier II A MASTERPIECE OF AVIATION! Beautiful Piece Of British Engineering |
The AV-8B Harrier II is a single-engine ground-attack aircraft that constitutes the second generation of the Harrier Jump Jet family. Capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), the aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as an Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational V/STOL aircraft. The aircraft is primarily employed on light attack or multi-role missions, ranging from close air support of ground troops to armed reconnaissance.
The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), the Spanish Navy, and the Italian Navy. A variant of the AV-8B, the British Aerospace Harrier II, was developed for the British military, while another, the TAV-8B, is a dedicated two-seat trainer.
Originally flown in the late 1960s, the Harrier has undergone a series of improvements that have increased safety, range and lethality. The AV-8B is a key component of the Marine Corps’ “all STOVL force” concept, allowing Marines to be supported in austere conditions in expeditionary environments. #harrier
22,000 pounds of thrust enable the Harrier II to hover like a helicopter, and then blast forward like a jet at near-supersonic speeds. Like every aircraft in the #Marine fleet, this aircraft is used for multiple missions, which include attacking and destroying surface and air targets, escorting helicopters, engaging in air-to-air defense, providing reconnaissance and applying for offensive and defensive support with its arsenal of missiles, bombs, nd an onboard 25mm cannon. Offering the versatility to conduct almost any mission, the Harrier II provides the ideal blend of firepower and mobility to effectively counter enemies engaged by our ground forces.
The AV-8B is equipped with one centerline fuselage and six wing hardpoints along with two fuselage stations for a 25 mm GAU-12 cannon and ammunition pack. These hardpoints give it the ability to carry a total of 9,200 lb of weapons, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, and anti-ship missiles, as well as unguided and guided bombs. The aircraft’s internal fuel capacity is 7,500 lb, up 50 percent compared to its predecessor. Fuel capacity can be carried in hardpoint-compatible external drop tanks, which give the aircraft a maximum ferry range of 2,100 mi and a combat radius of 300 mi (556 km). The AV-8B can also receive additional fuel via aerial refueling using the probe-and-drogue system. The British Aerospace Harrier II, a variant tailored to the RAF, uses different avionics, and has one additional missile pylon on each wing.
The technological advances incorporated into the Harrier II, compared with the original Harrier, significantly reduce the workload on the pilot. The supercritical wing, hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) control principle, and increased engineered lateral stability make the aircraft fundamentally easier to fly. A large cathode-ray tube multi-purpose display, taken from the F/A-18, makes up much of the instrument panel in the cockpit. It has a wide range of functions, including radar warning information and weapon delivery checklist. The pilots sit on UPC/Stencel 10B zero-zero ejection seats, meaning that they are able to eject from a stationary aircraft at zero altitudes.
The AV-8B V/STOL strike aircraft was designed to replace the AV-8A and the A-4M light attack aircraft. The Marine Corps requirement for a V/STOL light attack force has been well documented since the late 1950s. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost and basing flexibility, both afloat and ashore, V/STOL aircraft are particularly well suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the Marine Corps. The AV-8BII+ features the APG-65 radar common to the F/A-18, as well as all previous systems and features common to the AV-8BII.
The AV-8B will soon be replaced by the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.