AV-8B Harrier II

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The AV-8B Harrier II is a family of second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing or V/STOL ground-attack aircraft of the late 20th century. An American-British development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and Sea Harrier, it is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks and is typically operated from small aircraft carriers, large amphibious assault ships and austere forward operating bases.

Although the AV-8B Harrier II shares the designation with the earlier AV-8A/C Harrier, the AV-8B was extensively redesigned from the previous-generation Harrier GR.1A/AV-8A/C by McDonnell Douglas. British Aerospace joined the improved Harrier project in the early 1980s, and it has been managed by Boeing/BAE Systems since the 1990s.

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The AV-8B is used by the U.S. Marine Corps. The British Harrier GR7/GR9 versions were used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Versions are also used by the NATO countries Spain and Italy. The Harrier family models are referred to commonly as the “Harrier Jump Jet.”

General Characteristics of the AV-8 Harrier

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Length: 46 ft 4 in (14.12 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.55 m)
  • Wing area: 243.4 ft² (22.61 m²)
  • Airfoil: supercritical airfoil
  • Empty weight: 13,968 lb (6,340 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 22,950 lb (10,410 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight:Power plant: 1× Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 (Mk 107) vectored-thrust turbofan, 23,500 lbf (105 kN)
    • Rolling: 31,000 lb (14,100 kg)
    • Vertical: 20,755 lb (9,415 kg)

AV-8 Harrier Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.89 (662 mph, 1,070 km/h) at sea level
  • Range: 1,200 nm (1,400 mi, 2,200 km)
  • Combat radius: 300 nmi (556 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (3,300 km)
  • Rate of climb: 14,700 ft/min (4,485 m/min)
  • Wing loading: 94.29 lb/ft² (460.4 kg/m²)

AV-8 Harrier Armament

  • Guns: 1× General Dynamics GAU-12 Equalizer 25 mm (0.984 in) 5-barreled Gatling cannon mounted under-fuselage in the left pod with 300 rounds of ammunition in the right pod (American/Spanish/Italian configuration)
  • Hard points: 6× under-wing pylon stations holding up to 13,200 lb (5,988 kg) of payload:
  • Rockets:
    • 4× LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19× CRV7 70-mm rockets)
  • Missiles:
    • Air-to-air missiles:
      • 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar-sized infrared-guided missiles
      • 6× AIM-120 AMRAAM (mounted on radar-equipped AV-8B+ variants)
    • Air-to-surface missiles:
      • 6× AGM-65 Maverick; or
      • 2× AGM-84 Harpoon; or
      • 2× AGM-88 HARM; or
  • Bombs:
    • CBU-100 Cluster Bombs (CBUs)
    • Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3-kg and 14-kg practice bombs)
    • Pave way series of Laser-guided bombs (LGBs)
    • Mark 77 napalm canisters
  • Others:
    • up to 4× 300/330/370 U.S. Gallon drop tanks (pylon stations No. 2, 3, 4 & 5 are wet plumbed) for ferry flight/extended range/loitering time

AV-8 Harrier Avionics

  • Raytheon APG-65
  • AN/AAQ-28V LITENING targeting pod (mounted on radar equipped AV-8B+ variants)
  • Special note: An upgrade program is currently fitting airframes with wiring and software to employ 1,760 bus-based smart weapons, such as Joint Direct Attack Munitions

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