AV-8B Harrier II
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Role V/STOL strike aircraft
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas / British Aerospace
Boeing / BAE Systems
First flight 9 November 1978 (YAV-8B)
Introduction 12 January 1985 (AV-8B)
June 1993 (AV-8B+)
Primary users United States Marine Corps
Produced AV-8B/B+: 1981-2003
Unit cost US$6.7 million in 1988 (AV-8A)
US$30-35 million in 1997 (Harrier II Plus)
Developed from Hawker Siddeley Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
Variants BAE Harrier II
The McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II is a family of second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing or V/STOL jet multirole aircraft of the late 20th century. British Aerospace rejoined the project in the early 1980s, and it has been managed by Boeing/BAE Systems since the 1990s.
Developed from the earlier Hawker Siddeley Harriers, it is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks, typically operated from small aircraft carriers and large amphibious assault ship. Versions are used by several NATO countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and the United States.
The aircraft is known as the AV-8B Harrier II in United States Marine Corps service and the Harrier GR7/GR9 in British service. Though it shares the designation letter-number with the earlier AV-8A/C Harrier, the AV-8B Harrier II was extensively redesigned by McDonnell Douglas. The AV-8A was a previous-generation Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1A procured for the US Marine Corps. These models are commonly referred to as the "Harrier Jump Jet".