AV-8B Plus (Italy)

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Rank VI Israel | Premium | Golden Eagles
Merkava Mk.2D Pack
This page is about the jet fighter AV-8B Plus (Italy). For other versions, see Harrier (Family).
▄AV-8B Plus
av_8b_plus_italy.png
GarageImage AV-8B Plus (Italy).jpg
▄AV-8B Plus
Research:410 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 100 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

In 1989, Italy's ban on using fixed wing aircraft in naval aviation was finally lifted, and without missing a beat, Italy signed a contract the following year for the purchase of 14 AV-8B+ VTOL fighters and 2 TAV-8B trainers for usage aboard their Giuseppe Garibaldi-class aircraft carrier. The Harrier IIs would form the backbone of Italian naval aviation in the modern era, being modernized for operations aboard the new Cavour-class carrier and soon the upcoming Trieste carrier, where they will be supplemented in the VTOL strike role by F-35B Lightning II fighters.

The ▄AV-8B Plus Harrier, introduced in Update "Sons of Attila", is a modernized version of the venerable AV-8 Harrier, bringing it up to 4th generation fighter standards. The upgrades applied allow this aircraft to not only carry a plethora of new guided ordnance, targeting systems, protective measures, and advanced air-to-air missiles, but also the airframe itself was heavily upgraded over previous AV-8s, with a more powerful engine and large leading edge extensions, allowing the Harrier II to manoeuvre swiftly in ways its predecessors could only imagine.

The AV-8B+ is a incredible all-rounder for the high ranks of Italy, proving to be a decent support fighter in dedicated air battles, but where it truly shines in mixed battles: With the capability to bring up to 10 x laser guided GBU-12 bombs, in addition to a LITENING II thermal pod, a GAU-12/U rotary cannon, and two AIM-9Ms for self defence, the AV-8B+ can absolutely decimate ground forces when left unchecked in the airspace above a ground battle. Other ordnance options on the AV-8B+ include up to four AGM-65D Mavericks or the larger GBU-16 laser guided bombs, or a wide array of various unguided bombs and rockets to choose from. The aircraft also presents itself with many tricks up its sleeve due to being a VTOL: In air engagements, the act of "VIFF"ing, or "Vector In Forward Flight" allows the Harrier II to quickly force an opponent to overshoot while also tightening its own turning circle through the use of VTOL thrust vectoring. In ground battles, while a risky manoeuvre with a lot of preparation required, it is possible to use the AV-8B+ similarly to a helicopter: by hovering behind terrain cover and only popping out occasionally to launch a fire-and-forget AGM-65D Maverick missile at unsuspecting tanks.

General info

Flight performance

Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Max speed
at 0 m1 134 km/h
Turn time30 s
Max altitude12 192 m
EngineRolls-Royce F402-RR-408
TypeJet
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight14 t
Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 1,126 1,119 12192 30.9 31.6 82.7 82.7 550
Upgraded 1,143 1,134 30.1 30.5 123.1 102.0

Details

Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
_ _ _ _ _ _
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
0 648 ___ ___ ___ ~__ ~__
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< ___ < ___ < ___ -

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
_____ _ _,___ kg ___ kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Gross
Weight
Weight (each) Type _m fuel __m fuel __m fuel
___ kg ___ _,___ kg _,___ kg _,___ kg _,___ kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (___%/WEP)
Condition 100% ___%/WEP _m fuel __m fuel __m fuel MGW
Stationary ___ kgf ___ kgf _.__ _.__ _.__ _.__
Optimal ___ kgf
(_ km/h)
___ kgf
(_ km/h)
_.__ _.__ _.__ _.__

Survivability and armour

Flares/Chaff
Aircraft countermeasures to distract IR and radar-guided missiles and also AA radar
Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear648 km/h

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 569 → 5 635 Sl icon.png
RB7 393 → 11 673 Sl icon.png
SB10 815 → 17 076 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications316 000 Rp icon.png
485 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost3 200 Ge icon.png
Crew training310 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 100 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 600 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 350 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
80 / 320 / 600 % Sl icon.png
256 / 256 / 256 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
26 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
40 000 Sl icon.png
1 100 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
gau_12_belt_pack
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods napalm fire bomb.png
MK 77
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
LITENING II
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
LAU-3/A
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
9 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
370 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk82
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods laser guided bomb.png
GBU-12
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket large.png
LAU-10/A
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
G-suit
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
490 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
gau_12_new_gun
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mk83
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods laser guided bomb.png
GBU-16
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
AIM-9L
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
AGM-65D
Research:
26 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
40 000 Sl icon.png
1 100 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
AIM-9M
Research:
26 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
40 000 Sl icon.png
1 100 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
EFS
Research:
26 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
40 000 Sl icon.png
1 100 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs) Lead indicator
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Offensive armament

The AV-8B Plus (Italy) is armed with:

  • 180 x countermeasures

Suspended armament

The AV-8B Plus (Italy) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Hardpoints AV-8B Plus (Italy).png
25 mm GAU-12/U cannons (300 rpg) 1
250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs 1 3 3 2 3 3 1
250 lb Mk 81 Snakeye bombs 1 3 3 2 3 3 1
500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs 1 3 3 2 3 3 1
500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs 1 3 3 2 3 3 1
1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs 1 2 2 1
277 kg GBU-12 Paveway II bombs 2* 3* 3* 2*
1,092 lb GBU-16 Paveway II bombs 1* 1* 1* 1*
Mk 77 mod 4 incendiary bombs 1 2 2 2 2 1
FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets 38 57 57 38
Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets 8 12 12 8
AGM-65D missiles 1 1 1 1
AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles 1 1 1 1
AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles 1 1 1 1
LITENING II targeting pod 1*
Maximum permissible loadout weight: 4,200 kg
Maximum permissible wing load: 1,900 kg
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 1,400 kg
* The LITENING II pod must be equipped when carrying guided bombs
Default weapon presets
  • 1 x 25 mm GAU-12/U cannon (300 rpg)
  • 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
  • 4 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
  • 4 x AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles
  • 190 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 40 x Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets
  • 16 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs (4,000 lb total)
  • 16 x 250 lb Mk 81 Snakeye bombs (4,000 lb total)
  • 16 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (8,000 lb total)
  • 16 x 500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs (8,000 lb total)
  • 6 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (6,000 lb total)
  • 10 x 277 kg GBU-12 Paveway II bombs (2,770 kg total)
  • 4 x 1,092 lb GBU-16 Paveway II bombs (4,368 lb total)
  • 4 x AGM-65D missiles
  • 10 x Mk 77 mod 4 incendiary bombs

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the aircraft, the features of using aircraft in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great payload options, access to a very diverse range of ground attack ordnance which include laser-guided bombs and missiles
  • Has access to VTOL, can be used to capture enemy points or even hide the aircraft when engaging enemies
  • Can sustain long dogfights with its decent energy retention
  • Has built-in target tracker and FLIR even without targeting pod
  • Has Pilot NVD

Cons:

  • Relatively slow top speed compared to other modern aircraft
  • Need to be in a light configuration if you want to survive dogfights
  • Not very armoured, can't handle being damaged unlike other aircraft

History

The Italian's Harrier story begins on 1st February 1989. Due to post-war laws, Italy had a very strict guidelines to follow when it came down to its own military forces, these laws would however change shortly after Italy would join NATO. Of these many laws, one would prohibit the Italian Navy from possessing heavily armed aircraft. As such, a new law would be passed known as the "La Legge N.36 del 1 febbraio del 1989 " or "Ali alla Marina" (wings to the Navy) which allowed the Italian Navy to equip itself with armed jets to not only bolster its forces, but mainly to guarantee the security of the Italian Navy and one of its flagships known as the Garibaldi. The Italian Navy was only looking for VTOL/STOL aircraft, so in turn it went for the Harrier, as it fit the role perfectly. Italy was always interested in the Harrier and had even designed a few VTOL/STOL designs of its own, one of the Harrier prototypes was also tested in Italy which likely further pushed the Italian Navy's interest in the platform. This aircraft has been seen being used in multiple countries. Users of the Harrier II include Spain, America and the UK under several different variants. BAE systems had acquired the right to further develop and build the AV-8A that the Americans were already using, so in turn BAE systems had improved it so much such as giving it a better engine. Along other upgrades and changes BAE systems had practically made a new machine which now went under the name of the AV-8B, and also went by the name of "Harrier II". It had access to the latest logistical equipment, and was able to partake in day/night operations.

Due to this, it was the perfect vehicle for the Italian Navy. In September 1990, Italy decided to join the "Plus" program, which aimed to equip the Harriers with radar suites, in which Spain and the US also joined. Italy had bought 18 of the AV-8B, and 2 of the TAV-8B Harrier IIs for training. The Italian government also struck a deal with the United States which allowed Italian Navy pilots to directly train with the Harrier and familiarize themselves with the platform in the US even before they were delivered to Italy. In February 1994, the first Harrier was delivered to the Italian Navy, and by November of that same year, 3 Harriers would call the Garibaldi their new home. Part of the acquisition also allowed Italy to modify their own Harriers (which Alenia would be in charge of). The weapon of choice for the Italian Harriers in terms of air-to-air combat would be the Hughes AIM-120B AMRAAM and the AIM-9L Sidewinder, which at the time were very modern missiles. Italy would also use upgraded variants of those 2 missiles as the years went on. Besides air combat, Italian Navy Harriers were surprisingly well-armed in their air-to-ground configuration, not even the Italian airforce AMX was as heavily armed as the Harrier was during its service. In terms of armament, its main cannon comprised of a GAU-12A 25 mm, something which was already in use with other aircraft of the era. Stand-off capability also included a wide range of laser-guided bombs such as the Paveway series, for anti-tank they had access to the AGM-65 Maverick in 2 different variants. Other optional equipment included unguided rockets and bombs, flare and chaff countermeasures, RWR, and ECM.

Italian Harriers participated in Operation "United Shield" in Somalia, performing multiple recon missions for the American Marines and the Italian "San Marco" regiment. They participated in "Operazione alba neo" in Albania, and had to scramble and intercept multiple jets daily, and in Enduring Freedom where they racked up more than 800 flight hours in combat missions. They also took part with Allied Forces in Kosovo, Operazione Leonte in Lebanon where it was mainly used for monitoring airspace. One of the times it was used as a ground strike aircraft would be in Libya during Operation Unified Protector, and managed to rack up to 1,040 flight hours. Overall, Italian Harriers proved to be a more than useful platform for the Italian Navy, they are soon to be phased out as the Italian Navy begins to put into service their new F-35s.

Media

Skins

See also

Related development

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:


McDonnell Aircraft Corporation
Jet Fighters  F2H-2 · F3H-2
  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II
  F-15A
Export/Licensed 
Aircraft  ◄F-4F Early · ◄F-4F · Phantom FG.1 · Phantom FGR.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II · F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4EJ ADTW · Kurnass · Kurnass 2000
  Baz · F-15J
  ▄AV-8B Plus
Helicopters  AH-6M · Lahatut
  The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Italy jet aircraft
Aerfer  Sagittario 2 · Ariete
Fiat  G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 (Portugal) · G.91 Y · G.91 YS
AMX International  AMX
Panavia  Tornado ADV · ▄Tornado IDS (1995)
  Foreign:
Vampire  Vampire FB 52A
F-84  ▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE
F-86  CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K
F-104  ▄F-104G · F-104S · ▄F-104S TAF (Turkey) · F-104S.ASA
F-16  ▄F-16A ADF
AV-8  ▄AV-8B Plus
Hungary 
Mikoyan-Gurevich  ◔MiG-15bis · ◔MiG-17PF · ◔MiG-21MF · ◔MiG-21bis-SAU · ◔MiG-23MF · ◔MiG-29
Ilyushin  ◔IL-28
Sukhoi  ◔Su-22M3
Saab  ◔JAS39EBS HU C