AV-8 Harrier II Pic GalleryThe AV-8 Harrier II is an american version of the brittish Harrier. Since the Marine Corp first received the AV-8B they have consistently chapioned the VTOL Capability. Preliminary studies were made in the mid-1970's, and the prototype YAV-8B made its first flight from St. Louis in November 1978. The prime contractor for the project was McDonnell Douglas, who forged a partnership with British Aerospace. The USMC has ordered 328 Harrier II / AV-8B's, of which 28 are two seater trainers. Delivery of the AV-8Bs began in January of 1984, the first unite to receive the type being VMAT-203 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. The AV-8B has replaced the aging A-4 Skyhawk. STOVL means , Short Take Off Vertical Landing. The AV-8B can take off vertically or roll off a commando ship at 55 MPH. If the AV-8B ever encounters a threat by enemy fighters, it can defend itself Sidewinder or Ammram missiles. The AV-8B can also quickly deaccelerate causing the enemy to over shoot. In 1984 MCD was awarded a contract for a Night Attack version of the AV-8B. The Night Attack version is equiped with a FLIR sensor with the pilot wearing Night Vision Goggles. All of the AV-8B's have been upgraded to the Night Attack standard.

Nation of Orgin: USA / England
Constructor: McDonnell Douglas Corporation / British Aerospace
Type: Single Seater STOVL Close Air Support
Length: 47ft 9in
Height: 11ft 8in
Wing span: 30ft 4in
Wing Area: 230sq ft
Engines: One 23,400 Rolls Royce F402-408 vector thrust turbofans
Max speed: 602kt at altitude
Ceiling: 50,000ft
Armament: One 25mm GAU-12/U five barrel cannon with 300 rounds; combination of Mavricks and Hellfire for air-ground; air-air combination of 6 AMRAAM and Sidewinders
History: First Flight 9th of November 1978; Service entry 1983
Users: USMC, Spanish navy, British navy & airforce