|This page is about the American strike aircraft AV-8C. For other versions, see Harrier (Family).|
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) adopted the AV-8A Harrier in 1971 for their amphibious operations, being part of the USMC's ambitious goals of utilizing the Harrier's V/STOL capabilities to operate from rudimentary airfields and smaller carriers while being able to provide close air support needed on land. Needs for improvements has the USMC seek out the more advanced Harrier II, but until enough number of Harrier II is available, the USMC sought to improve their AV-8A fleet with upgrades and improvements to keep them relevant. In 1979, 47 AV-8A were selected for improvements into the AV-8C that saw the integration of a radar warning receiver (RWR) and countermeasures into the airframe, avionic upgrades, and service life extension. The AV-8C and preceding AV-8A variant would both be retired in 1987.
The AV-8C was introduced in the game in Update "New Power" along with its AV-8A predecessor. Like all members of the Harrier family, the AV-8C is a VTOL aircraft with thrust vectoring nozzles, which allow it to take off and land vertically. In terms of flight performance and air-to-air capabilities, the AV-8C is nearly unchanged from the AV-8A, but it contains new capabilities that players would appreciate over the AV-8A. Firstly, the countermeasure dispenser is now integrated into the aircraft, and while this doesn't give as many countermeasures as the pod in the AV-8A, it does free up a hard point for munitions rather than a countermeasure pod. The AV-8C also comes with a RWR, allowing players to better be able to assess if they are being tracked by a radar. These new capabilities augment the AV-8C into a more capable strike fighters to assess the airspace and destroy the target more easily.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 648||< 950||< 790||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Rolls-Royce F402-RR-402||1||5,918 kg||439 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||34m fuel|
|1,687 kg||Vectored-thrust low-bypass turbofan||6,605 kg||7,292 kg||7,978 kg||8,253 kg||12,679 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||10m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||34m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||9,071 kgf||9,625 kgf||1.46||1.32||1.21||1.17||0.76|
|Optimal|| 9,071 kgf
| 9,625 kgf
|The F402-RR-402 engine loses a significant amount of thrust as your speed increases|
Survivability and armour
The AV-8C has no armour. The engine and all fuel tanks are packed in a tight cluster in the centre of the fuselage.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)|
The AV-8C is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- 2 x 30 mm ADEN Mk.4 cannons, belly-mounted (130 rpg = 260 total)
- 2 x 30 mm ADEN Mk.4 cannons + 60 x countermeasures
The AV-8C can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
|250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|250 lb Mk 81 Snakeye bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs||1||1|
|Mk 77 mod 4 incendiary bombs||1||1||1||1||1|
|FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets||7, 19||7, 19||7, 19||7, 19|
|Zuni Mk32 Mod 0 ATAP rockets||4||4||4||4|
|AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles||1||1|
|Default weapon presets|
Usage in battles
The AV-8C can be considered a multirole aircraft which can focus in air-to-air combat, air to ground combat and air to sea combat. Its firepower and ordnance make it a competitive aircraft in all game modes. The roles can be divided in such:
When air to air:
The Harrier has access to AIM-9G Sidewinder air to air missiles capable of taking down all enemy aircraft in the game. It should be noted that the AIM-9G is a rear-aspect lock-on missile, meaning the Harrier must be behind the enemy aircraft to be able to launch the missile.
When facing enemy bombers:
Enemy bombers are the easiest targets for the Harrier both in gun strafe and when using missiles as they lack agility when dogfighting against the Harrier and countermeasures such as flares to be able to counter the missiles. It is unlikely to face enemy bombers besides the Vautour IIA IDF/AF as most of them stay at 8.0. AI-controlled bombers are the exception.
When facing enemy attackers:
When facing player-controlled attackers (not neccesarily planes labelled as attackers but planes who focus on ground striking), the pilot must stay aware that, besides the Harrier superior mobility, they can outturn you as they will often fly at lower speeds than you, meaning their turn radius compared to yours will be much smaller. Most of the enemy planes that do CAS runs will often be enemy fighters (not labelled as attackers) but with ground ordnance, meaning they can or will be heavier than you, increasing drag and reducing agility when in a dogfight, use this as an advantage.
As an attacker/bomber:
The Harrier has access to a wide variety of ground ordnance capable of destroying enemy ground units and bases. It also has access to CCIP ballistics computer (refer to Ballistic Computer for explanation) meaning the pilot has access to ground ordnance crosshairs which will increase ordnance accuracy, both rockets and bombs. It is not recommended to fly as a bomber (in terms of altitude) but fly as a tree cutter (as close to the ground as possible). This is recommended to achieve multiple things: radar interference, max speed, reduce enemy visibility and awareness. It also makes bombing easier without the need of ballistics computer (although it is recommended to use it since it will not require any practice). Time fuze MUST BE ADDED to avoid assault fuze explosion, risking your plane to be hit by the explosion causing a death. Ground striking ordnance should be taken at pilot's discretion, but it is recommended to take the 2 x 1000 lb and 3 x 500lb bombs in order to take a whole base completely and still maintain high speeds. You are unable to carry any sort of anti-air missiles with this payload.
- Note: radar interference is mostly irrelevant in air realistic battles as the plane will still be highlighted and enemy pilots could use eye aiming. However, it will interfere with radar homing missiles (SARH missiles such as AIM-7E, R-3R, etc carried by F-4 Phantoms and MiG-21's) and will be your main line of defence when flying in simulator battles, you will be able to fly stealthily if flying in tree cutting tactic.
When in combined battles (ground realistic battles):
This is where the Harrier is able to shine as an attacker, primarily using VTOL and hovering mode to an advantage (will be explained more detailed later). There is multiple loadouts which can be used in order to make the Harrier a scary attacker.
This is often the most used payload for multiple reasons: has the biggest explosion radius compared to rockets, are more forgiving when missing by couple meters, can take multiple targets with a single bomb. The use of ballistics computer makes their aiming much easier than with eye aiming both in realistic and simulator battles. The x4 1000lb bombs are recommended as, if aimed correctly, will destroy one or multiple enemy targets with a single bomb, meaning you are able to get at least 2 kills (as bombs drop in pair)
This is the trickiest but most rewarding payload the Harrier can carry (rewarding as it is able to make much more kills than bombs). Tanks can be taken with one to three rocket salvos (launched in pairs, meaning with 2 to 6 rockets in total). This means you are able to get 12 kills (considering you take 6 rockets per tank) if you take the 76 x Might Mouse rocket payload.
Harrier can be used as a helicopter thanks to the VTOL capabilities, rockets are recommended if used like this. It is able to hide behind mountains, poke to attack and go back into cover as a helicopter would do. Handling this technique can be tricky and will require practice but is an alternate way of playing CAS.
Pros and cons
- Thrust vectoring capabilities, helpful in low-speed dogfights
- Insane thrust-to-weight ratio; superb acceleration and climb rate, and can sustain Mach 0.88 in level flight with just 50% throttle
- Excellent roll rate
- Strong flaps
- Versatile secondary weapons consisting of air-to-air missiles, rockets, and bombs
- AIM-9G sidewinders are good long range missiles
- Has a ballistic computer for precision strikes
- 30 mm ADEN cannons do high damage
- High ammo count for the cannons
- Has a Head-Up Display in the cockpit which provides flight information and weapon-aiming functionality
- Has a radar warning receiver and countermeasures
- Equipped with an engine fire extinguisher
- Below average top speed (subsonic)
- The engine has an insane overheating problem; running at 91% throttle is recommended to avoid overheating the engine
- Limited maximum payload compared to conventional strike aircraft
- Very poor energy retention; massive energy losses when turning
- Below average turn rate
- ADEN cannons have a low muzzle velocity and are belly-mounted, making some shots difficult
- Guns are highly inaccurate when stock
Predecessor: AV-8A Harrier
The AV-8A Harrier was an American version of the British Harrier GR.1 that entered service with the Marine Corps. Congress approved the purchase of 114 Harriers in 1970. Marine Attack Squadron 513 (VMA-513) was the first squadron to receive its Harriers, with the delivery taking place in March 1971; VMA-231 and VMA-542 received their AV-8As next.
It was mostly similar to the Harrier GR.1, but had a number of changes. All magnesium components were replaced in order to prevent corrosion. American identification friend or foe (IFF) systems and radio equipment were fitted. The British GR.1 was fitted with the Ferranti FE541 inertial navigation/attack suite, but these were replaced in the USMC Harriers by a simpler Interface/Weapon Aiming Computer.
The outer wing pylons were modified to allow the carrying of AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles (AAMs). The AV-8A also utilized a more powerful version of the Rolls-Royce Pegasus than on the GR.1, the Mk 103 (called F402-RR-402 by the Americans).
47 AV-8A Harriers were upgraded to the AV-8C standard starting in 1979. Inertial navigation system equipment was added and the Lift Improvement Devices were also improved. Various components were also restored or replaced to increase the service life of the aircraft. The ECM capability was bolstered with the addition of the ALR-45F/APR-43 radar warning receiver and ALE-39 countermeasures dispenser. An AN/ALE-37 chaff-dispenser pod could be carried on a hardpoint.
- Related development
|Hawker Aircraft Limited|
|Fury||Fury Mk I · Fury Mk II|
|Nimrod||Nimrod Mk I · Nimrod Mk II|
|Scout plane||Osprey Mk IV|
|Hurricane||Hurricane Mk I/L · Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Sea Hurricane Mk IB · Sea Hurricane Mk IC · Hurricane Mk IIB/Trop · Hurricane Mk IV|
|Typhoon||Typhoon Mk Ia · Typhoon Mk Ib · Typhoon Mk Ib/L|
|Tempest||Tempest Mk V · Tempest Mk V (Vickers P) · Tempest Mk II|
|Fury||Sea Fury FB 11|
|Hunter||Hunter F.1 · Hunter F.6 · Hunter FGA.9 · ◌Hunter F.58|
|Sea Hawk||Sea Hawk FGA.6|
|Harrier||Harrier GR.1 · Harrier GR.3|
|Export||▄Hurricane Mk I/L · ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · J34 · ◄Sea Hawk Mk.100 · AV-8A · AV-8C|
|Captured||▀Tempest Mk V|
|USA jet aircraft|
|F-4||F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II|
|F-5||F-5A · F-5C · F-5E|
|F-8||F8U-2 · F-8E|
|F-80||F-80A-5 · F-80C-10|
|F-84||F-84B-26 · F-84F · F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35|
|F-89||F-89B · F-89D|
|F-104||F-104A · F-104C|
|F-14||F-14A Early · F-14B|
|F-16||F-16A · F-16A ADF · F-16C|
|F9F||F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8|
|FJ-4||FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232|
|Other||P-59A · F2H-2 · F3D-1 · F3H-2 · F4D-1 · F11F-1 · F-100D|
|A-4||A-4B · A-4E Early|
|A-7||A-7D · A-7E · A-7K|
|AV-8||AV-8A · AV-8C|
|A-10||A-10A · A-10A Late|
|B-57||B-57A · B-57B|