One Rolls-Royce Pegasus vectored thrust turbofan
46ft 4in (14.12m)
30ft 4in (9.24m)
Crew of 1 or 2
The first Harriers entered RAF service in 1969, making the RAF the
first in the world to use its revolutionary vertical take-off and
landing abilities which allow the aircraft to fly in and out of areas
close to the battlefield that would normally be off-limits to conventional
aircraft such as the Tornado. The current versions of the Harrier
are the pilot-only GR7 (which is being upgraded with more powerful
engines and electronic systems to become the GR9) and the two-seat
T10 which, when not used as a training aircraft, can also be used
Since 2000, the RAF's Harrier and the Royal Navy Sea Harriers have
been under the organisational control of Joint Force Harrier. This
has seen the RAF's aircraft deploy alongside the Sea Harriers on board
aircraft carriers of the Navy on many routine training deployments
as well as operations.
Air Interdiction (AI). Low- or medium-level attacks using precision-guided,
freefall or retarded bombs.
Close Air Support (CAS). Air attacks against hostile targets that
are in close proximity to friendly forces.
Up to sixteen general-purpose bombs, four Maverick anti-tank missiles,
Paveway 2 and 3 laser-guided bombs and CRV-7 rocket pods. Future attack
weapons will include Brimstone anti-armour missiles and Storm Shadow
cruise missiles. For self-defence, two AIM-9L Sidewinders or Advanced
Short-Range Air-to-Air missiles (ASRAAM) can be carried. The Joint
Reconnaissance Pod, when fitted, is mounted under the centre fuselage.
The sharply downward-sloping wing and tailplane, and the large air
intakes of the Pegasus engine (3) make the Harrier very distinctive.
The undercarriage is also unusual, in that the main wheels and nose
wheel retract in tandem into the fuselage and there are two outrigger
wheels that retract into housings on the wing at about two-thirds
span (1). The cockpit glazing is large and pronounced on all versions(2).
The T10 has a much more pronounced 'hump' for the twin cockpit (4)
and is slightly longer than the GR7.