The McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II is a family of second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing or V/STOL ground-attack aircraft of the late 20th century. It is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks, typically operated from small aircraft carriers and large amphibious assault ships.
Although the AV-8B Harrier II shares the designation with the earlier AV-8A/C Harrier, the AV-8B was extensively redesigned from the previous-generation Harrier GR.1A/AV-8A/C by McDonnell Douglas. British Aerospace joined the improved Harrier project in the early 1980s, and it has been managed by Boeing/BAE Systems since the 1990s.
The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps. The British Harrier GR7/GR9 versions are used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Versions are also used by NATO countries: Spain, and Italy. The Harrier models are commonly referred to as the "Harrier Jump Jet".
By kjfitz @ 2009-04-23 16:00:11