AV - 8 Harrier - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Planes of Thunder

AV - 8 Harrier

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Nickname Harrier
Vectored Thrust
Range 2,416 Miles

A joint effort by British Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas resulted in the development of the AV-8A Harrier II which first flew on November 9, 1978. Deliveries began in July 1987 for the USMC AV-8A/RAF GR.5, but was soon followed with the night attack-capable AV-8B/GR.7 variants. Existing RAF GR.5 aircraft in service were upgraded to GR.7 standard by 1994 and AV-8A to B upgrades completed by 1993.

Like the AV-8B, the RAF Harrier GR.7 features a longer fuselage and larger wing area over its predecessor. The redesigned fuselage includes a raised cockpit and modified engine air intakes. For the night attack role, it has a full color digital map display and wide-angle HUD. Weapon delivery sensors include an Angle Rate Bombing Set (ARBS) system with TV and laser target seeker and tracker in the nose, and a forward-looking infrared sensor in the fairing atop the nose. The defensive systems include the Zeus ECM and chaff/flare dispensers located in the rear of the AIM-9 launch rails.