Harrier Jump Jet

YouTube – Harrier Jump Jet


Primary Function:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Max. Speed:
Initial Climb:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
RR Pegasus Mk5
21,500 lbs.
15,360 lbs.
31,000 lbs.
2- 25 mm
10,800 lbs.
47 ft. 1 in.
30 ft. 4 in.
660 mph
14,700 fpm
50,000 feet
1,400 miles


Harrier Jump Jet

Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet (officially the AV8B Harrier II) is a combined project of McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing, and BAE Systems.

The origins of the Harrier Jump Jet trace back to its predecessor’s first hovering flight in October of 1960. Since then it has received numerous updates and improvements and is still serving today.

The idea for the Harrier Jump Jet was in response to the threat of an enemy quickly knocking out runways, rendering conventional aircraft useless. The answer was to develop a fighter aircraft that could take off and land without using long runways.

The Harrier Jump Jet utilizes a single engine for all of its maneuvering. The pilot can angle the engine exhaust nozzle downward for vertical flight or hovering and then rearward for conventional flight. Directional control jets in the nose, wings and tail allow for turning while hovering.

The Harrier Jump Jet first entered service with the RAF in October of 1969. These aircraft were designated GR1. The United States designated their aircraft that first flew in the early 1970’s as the AV-8A.

The Harrier Jump Jet aircraft used by the British were licensed American design aircraft, fitted to RAF requirements. These requirements include navigation and defensive systems, and additional missiles.

The latest Harrier Jump Jet aircraft have day/night/all weather flying capabilities.  Upgrades include the AN/APG-65 radar integration into the Link 16 data exchange network, the AN/AAQ-28(V)1 LITENING targeting pod that permits real-time imagery transmission to troops on the ground via the ROVER system, and a laser designator.  They are particularly suited to ground support missions with forward looking infrared equipment, and pilot night vision visors

The Harrier Jump Jet is armed with rockets, unguided bombs, AIM-120 AMRAAM beyond visual range air to air missiles, Sidewinder missiles, AGM-65E Maverick laser-guided ground-attack missiles, GBU-12 and GBU-16 Paveway laser-guided and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) satellite-guided bombs. They have more than double the payload capacity of earlier jump jets.

On April 1, 2019 Boeing received a US$71.3 million contract for Harrier maintenance including integrated logistics support and engineering with completion set for December 2023.

On April 2, 2019 it was announced that Boeing will be updating Harrier avionics and weapons systems for US$16.2 million. Scheduled completion of all work is expected by March of 2024.

Jan. 7, 2020:  The U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support awarded Collins Aerospace, Birmingham, United Kingdom, US$10,841,621 for repair coverage of the digital engine control unit of the Rolls Royce F402-RR-408 Pegasus engine for the Harrier Harrier Jump Jet.  All work will be performed in Birmingham, U.K., and is expected to be completed by December of 2024.

June 16, 2020:  The Defense Logistics Agency awarded Viasat Inc., Carlsbad, California, US$8,928,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Harrier Jump Jet spare parts.  Work is to be completed by Sept. 30, 2020.   

Harrier Jump Jet aircraft have seen action during the Falklands War, Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq and Syria.

Some 337 Harrier Jump Jet aircraft were built by McDonnell Douglas before production ended in 2003.

RC Harrier Jump Jet

RC Harrier Jump Jet

Skymaster Jets has the RC Harrier Jump Jet that comes almost ready to fly (ARF).  Its wingspan is 73 in. and length is 115 1/2 in.  Recommended power is a Pegasus Turbofan with 84 lbf. or more thrust.  Dry weight of the RC Harrier Jump Jet is around 58 lbs.

3 thoughts on “Harrier Jump Jet”

  1. Comment moderation is in use. Comments allowed only when about page subjects. Proxies and advertising will be deleted. Please do not submit your comment twice — if approved it will appear shortly.

  2. My cousin Keith Chard designed the wing on the Harrier and tested the design in huge wind tunnels in USA.
    Keith sadly passed away on 30th July 2019.

    We have some memorabilia.

  3. The Harrier Jump Jet was actually entered into Marine Corps Aviation service in the early 1970’s. It was flown out of Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort South Carolina (Marine Airgroup 32, VMA513) while I was stationed there as an aircraft structural mechanic from 1972 – 1975. During my time at MCAS Beaufort a Harrier stalled while hovering, due to seagull ingestion, and fell into a swamp. The aircraft structure remained sound except for the left engine intake (and the engine!). The intake required extensive rebuilding which I was given the responsibility to complete. Great memories for me.

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