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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
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This page is about the American attacker AD-4. For the French version, see AD-4 (France).


GarageImage AD-4.jpg

The AD-4 Skyraider is a rank IV American attacker with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). This aircraft was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance".

The AD-4 is a thorough-bred ground attacker. It can be armed with a slew of deadly anti-ground weaponry ranging from several high payload bombs and HVAR rockets to a massive 56 Hydra rockets, with pinpoint precision and deadly effect. Though lacking in flight performance, the AD-4's armament allows the pilot to annihilate anything that ends up in front of his guns; destroying enemy planes in very few hits and being able to destroy even light Pillboxes and light Tanks with the right ammunition. If there are ground targets to be destroyed, the American tree can offer no better attacker aircraft.

The AD-4 is generally a sluggish aircraft, which should come to no surprise considering the engine output and weight of the aircraft. In sustained horizontal turn fights and all energy fights, the AD-4 will be out-manoeuvred quickly. Whilst it has speed, the AD-4 has a surprisingly high turn rate, though the high weight causes energy retention to be perhaps one of the worst of any aircraft in War Thunder.

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 5,822 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
558 545 8,900 24.3 24.6 9.3 11.5 600
Max Speed
(km/h at 5,822 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
621 587 8,900 22.1 23.0 24.7 15.5 600


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
797 680  ??? ~?? ~?
Optimal velocities
< ??? < ??? < ??? > ???
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
 ?,??? m  ??? hp  ?,??? hp

Survivability and armour

  • 40 mm Bulletproof glass - Pilot's windscreen
  • 9.5 mm Steel - Armor plate under the engine
  • 9.5 mm Steel - Armor plate behind the pilot


Offensive armament

Main article: AN/M3 (20 mm)

The AD-4 is armed with:

  • 4 x 20 mm AN/M3 cannon, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 800 total)

Suspended armament

Main article: Suspended armaments

The AD-4 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 12 x HVAR rockets
  • 12 x HVAR rockets + 1 x 2,216 lb Mk.13/44 torpedo
  • 2 x Tiny Tim rockets + 12 x HVAR rockets
  • 12 x HVAR rockets + 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,000 lb total)
  • 12 x HVAR rockets + 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 2 x Tiny Tim rockets + 12 x HVAR rockets + 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 12 x HVAR rockets + 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs + 1 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bomb (3,000 lb total)
  • 12 x HVAR rockets + 1 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bomb + 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
  • 56 x Hydra-70 rockets

Usage in battles

AD-4 Skyrider, Performing ground attack role.

In an air match, you need to know where the most important targets are and immediately make a beeline for them. Using your weight and air-spawn, you can reach a relatively high speed for your airframe of between 500 to 600 km/h in an extended shallow dive. Once at the objective area, your mission is to destroy as many vehicles that contribute to your team's victory as possible before enemy interceptors reach you. If possible, use your Hydra rocket payload, as they are incredibly accurate and are able to destroy light pillboxes and all ground vehicles in one direct hit. You can also use your AN/M3 cannons' API-T rounds to penetrate and destroy light pillboxes and light tanks. If this is your goal, use the universal ammo belt if unlocked, as it means every other round is API-T. Ground targets use two API-T, then a HE-T and a P round, so it is not as effective versus aircraft while being no more effective against ground targets than universal.

Specific enemies worth noting

ALL fighter aircraft have a massive advantage they can exploit against you to easily defeat you. Jets, especially the Me.262, have speed, energy retention and heavy armament that make it hard for you to win in a head-on or get your guns on target outside of one. If you're fighting versus one, you don't have much a chance other than to try and snipe them in a head-on before they get their rounds down range. Remember that the Me.262's guns have a notably low muzzle velocity. For propeller fighters, your tactic is the same and has a higher chance of succeeding thanks to your opponents generally lower armaments and speed


The AD-4 has a great burst horizontal turn rate, and can even compete with some of the poorer turning fighters when not laden with armament, though bleeds energy incredibly fast. When attempting to engage an AD-4, use the vertical to your advantage, the AD-4's incredibly high weight makes it almost impossible for the attacker to fire on anyone above them as they will almost immediately lose all momentum.

The most important piece of information to keep in mine versus an AD-4; do NOT go into a head-on versus the plane. The AD-4's inability to get guns on target easily is mitigated if they can commit to a head-on, and with four AN/M3 cannons alongside a relatively tanky structure the AD-4 will have a high chance of critically damaging you and escaping to repair.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not controllable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 20 mm SBC mk.1
II Compressor Airframe TC mk.1 LFRC mk.12
III Wings Repair Engine New 20 mm Cannons MBC mk.1
IV Engine Injection Cover LBC mk.1 Hydra-70
  • As an attacker, your priority is on obtaining more effective ground attack ordinance.

Start off with Offensive 20 mm, to unlock universal belts with a higher composition of API-T shells for ground attack.
Then, research SBC mk.I, to unlock the 12 x HVAR & 500 lb bomb combination.

The following depends on whether your preferred play style will be either Air or Ground attack:


Research TC mk.I to unlock the 12 x HVAR & Torpedo combination for maps with mainly naval targets and little ground targets, such as Norway. Next, select LFRC mk.12 to unlock the path to Hydra-70 later. With tier 3 unlocked, research the New 20 mm Cannons to fix the AN/M3's terribly accuracy problems and to make the ground strike more effective. As we're going to be using exclusively Hydra-70s later, research Engine and Wings Repair to unlock tier 4 modules. Finally, with tier 4 open, get Hydra-70 as soon as you can.

56 Hydra-70 rockets can be potentially used to destroy 23 tanks or light pillboxes, no other ordnance can compete. This makes it the obvious and only choice for grinding with the AD-4 in Air.


Research TC mk.I to open up the path to MBC mk.I.
Then research Compressor for the extra engine power.
With tier 3 open, research MBC mk.I, then Engine and New 20 mm cannons.
Finally, with tier 4 open, research LBC mk.I.

Hydra-70s may be accurate, but their post-penetration damage versus ground forces vehicles is pathetic. The large 2, 000 lb and 1, 000 lb bombs available to the AD-4 are much more reliable at destroying in general, and HVARs have far superior destruction power when they hit.

Pros and cons


  • Incredibly large and powerful anti-ground armament selection
  • Strong cannons for both air-to-ground and air-to-air
  • Relatively strong structure and armour
  • Faster than its predecessor, the AD-2
  • High burst turn rate for its size


  • Slower than nearly all planes it would meet
  • Matchmaker allows it to face jets
  • Extremely poor energy retention
  • Low sustained turn rate
  • Terrible stock aircraft (inaccurate cannons, slow, less effective payload options)


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === Encyclopedia Info ===, also if applicable).


See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

USA strike aircraft
Douglas  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · A2D-1 · AD-2 · AD-4
North American  A-36 · PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J
Other  AM-1 · AU-1 · XA-38