The American-manufactured AV-8B Harrier jet fighter of British design is on active duty with the Marines. It can take off vertically from the deck of a ship or forest clearing, and then accelerate to nearly the speed of sound.
The AV-8B Harrier was a Short Take Off and Vertical Landing strike aircraft. It was manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, Boeing and BAE Systems. Its maiden flight was on the 09th of November 1978 and introduced on the 12th of January 1985. Its primary users are U.S. Marine Corps; Royal Air Force and Navy; Spanish Navy; and the Italian Navy. This aircraft was developed from Hawker Siddeley Harrier and BAE Sea Harrier.
The AV-8B was a single-seat, light attack aircraft that provide offensive air support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force or MAGTF. Its primary function was to attack and destroy surface targets under day and night visual conditions. It can operate from a variety of ships, forward sites such as roads, and many others. The AV-8B Harrier only accommodates one flight crew. It has a length of 46.3 ft; wingspan of 30.3 ft; cruise speed of Subsonic to transonic; and ferry range of 2100 nautical miles. It has armament of one fuselage-mounted 25 mm gun system; Standard air-to ground load: six Mk 82,500 pound bombs; standard air-to-air load: four AIM-9L/M sidewinder missiles; and provisions for carrying up to 9,000 pounds of ordinance on seven stations.
The AV-8B tasks includes the conducting of close air support using conventional and specific weapons; to conduct deep air support; to conduct offensive and defensive antiair warfare; and many others.