AV-8B Harrier II

The Harrier is an unique ground-attack aircraft with V/STOL – vertical/short takeoff and landing capabilities. This specialized aircraft flown by the Marines can operate from small aircraft carriers as well as front line fields. The last Harrier rolled off the line in 2003 with 323 being produced serving in Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan and Libya in 2011. General Schwarzkopf named the USMC Harrier one of the seven most important weapons for the Gulf War. It is thought they will be slowly replaced by the new F-35B Lightning. This one was part of a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB photographed on recovery. If you are fortunate enough to see one during takeoff and landing, it is amazing technology even if nearly 30 years old.