The interesting video in this article is is featuring an American AV-8B Harrier jet apparently using the Meatball to land on an Amphibious Assault Ship
According to the Warzone, The “Meatball,” also known as the Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System (IFLOS). While the Meatball is known to be a critical component for fixed-wing pilots landing on the catapult and arresting gear-equipped (CATOBAR) carriers, it’s less known that America’s ‘big deck’ amphibious assault ships (LHDs and LHAs) are also equipped with the system.
Thanks to one Harrier pilot that goes by the handle @overdesigned on Twitter, we get to see the system in action right from the cockpit of his AV-8B Harrier.
As you can see in @overdesigned’s video below, he flies the meatball straight in, over the fantail of the ship, before entering into a solid hover and eventually touching down vertically amidships:
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) 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 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.
USMC and Italian Navy AV-8Bs are being replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, with the former expected to operate its Harriers until 2025.