Monday, October 3, 2022

US Marines conduct Harrier air-to-air live fire training employment

U.S. Marines with Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223 conducted live fire air-to-air missile launches with AV-8B Harrier IIs.

AV-8B Harrier II jets assigned to VMA-223 used AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and ADM-141A Tactical Air-Launched Decoys for the pilots to practice air-to-air combat.

Harrier is a unique tactical aircraft that was developed by a team representing McDonnell Douglas, British Aerospace and Rolls-Royce. Its ability to take off vertically makes it one of the most maneuverable combat aircraft in service. It can zoom out of the range of enemy fire extremely quickly.

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All Harrier variants are capable of carrying and delivering a wide range of air-to-surface weapons. GPS-guided, laser-guided and general purpose bombs make up the majority of the aircraft’s operational payload. Rockets, precision-guided missiles, illumination flares, cluster munitions and other special ordnance supplements the aircraft’s capability. The Litening targeting pod remains a critical target detection, recognition and designation system. Additionally, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAA and 25mm gun weapons are utilized. The aircraft is designed to perform all Offensive Air Support missions and a subset of Anti-Air Warfare missions.

Two years earlier, officials said the U.S. Marine Corps will continue to be a fourth-gen/fifth-gen fleet out until about 2030, with Harriers probably going to 2028.

Photo by Cpl. Lauren Salmon

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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