The AV-8B Harrier II Plus is a multi-mission, short-takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) tactical strike aircraft. Because of its short-to-vertical takeoff and landing characteristics, it possesses basing flexibility that is unmatched by other fixed-wing aircraft. Furthermore, it supports a broad selection of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapon systems and third-generation technologies that address diverse tactical scenarios.

Power and Lift:
The AV-8B Harrier II Plus has a power and lift configuration that includes the following elements:

A 23,500-pound thrust Rolls-Royce Pegasus 11-61 (F402-RR-408) engine
Four rotating nozzles that provide its direct-lift capability, enabling the aircraft to hover
Weapon Systems and TechnologiesThe AV-8B Harrier II Plus carries the following weapons systems and technologies:

  • APG-65 radar system
  • A 25mm rapid-fire Gatling gun
  • Air-to-air weapon systems:
    • Heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles
    • AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM), which is a beyond-visual-range missile
  • Air-to-surface weapon systems:
    • Heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles
    • Digital targeting data link
    • Global positioning system
    • Litening II Targeting Pod system
      Next-generation, precision-guided munitions, including the joint direct attack munition (JDAM)

Development:
Planned as a major upgrade to the AV-8A Harrier I and with roots that go back to the Hawker P.1127, the AV-8B Harrier II Plus is a collaborative effort:

  • Developed through an agreement between the United States, Spain, and Italy
  • Utilized by the U.S. Marine Corps, Spanish Navy, and Italian Navy
  • Development team members: Boeing, BAE Systems, and Rolls Royce