Military Review

US Marines interested in upgrading Harrier attack aircraft

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The US Marine Corps Command has begun exploring the possibilities of extending the life of the AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft at least until the 2030 of the year, reports Flightglobal. Initially, all planes of this type were planned to be written off already in the 2015 year, but after this the write-off period was postponed to the 2027 year. The decision to extend the lifespan of the Harrier II aircraft was caused by delays that arose with the supply of the latest F-35B Lightning II vertical fighter aircraft.


As the Julie Priss vice president of the Boeing Aircraft and Armament Support Division says, the US military is considering the possibility of deploying Link 16 systems on Harrier II aircraft. In addition, the attack aircraft are planned to be equipped with modern AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile systems and a detection system that would display information on the pilot's nalimon display. In addition, AV-8B Harrier II aircraft should receive new modern sensors that are compatible with pulse-Doppler radars that are installed on the aircraft.

The Harrier II aircraft was adopted by the United States Marine Corps in January 1984. Currently, the US Army, according to the information of the Flightglobal MiliCAS publication, has an 121 attack aircraft in the AV-8B / + version. In November 2011, the United States bought everything in the UK (except 2-x, sent to the museum) Harrier II GR9 / A aircraft. The amount of the transaction was 115 million pounds sterling (approximately 180 million dollars). American military planes purchased in England are going to be used as a source of spare parts for their own AV-8B / + Harrier II.
US Marines interested in upgrading Harrier attack aircraft

Harrier attack aircraft AV-8B is an advanced version of the early version of the Harrier AV-8A. This aircraft is characterized by a 1,5-fold increase in fuel supply, which made it possible to increase its radius of action by 1/3, and the engine's power was slightly increased. This aircraft, in addition to the US Marine Corps, is in service with the Italian and Spanish Navy. In the US Navy, the Harrier attack aircraft are based on landing helicopter carriers or universal landing ships. They are used as fighters and attack aircraft for striking surface and ground targets, aviation support for ground forces and air combat. In the USA, they are constantly working on the modernization of these vehicles: in particular, through the installation of a new control radar weaponsThe use of AIM-120 AMRAAM SD and Sea Eagle and Harpoon AGM-84 anti-ship missiles.

The most advanced version of the multifunctional vertical / short takeoff attack aircraft today is the AV-8B Harrier II +, which was developed jointly by the British company British Aerospace and the American McDonnell Douglas based on the AV-8B Harrier II multi-purpose attack aircraft. This attack aircraft is designed to modernize the fleets of the naval forces of Italy, Spain and the US Marine Corps.

The planes in this version put a new radar APG-65 manufactured by Raytheon, which allows the use of a very large range of weapons. Also, equipment has been upgraded to allow night missions - night vision devices that include special Night Vision Goggles goggles (NVG), infrared sensors (Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR), and special pilot cockpit equipment to the NVG standard. by the standard Hands On Throttle And Stick - HOTAS. The first attack aircraft, which were upgraded in this way, began to enter service with the American army back in 1988 year.

Structurally, the aircraft AV-8B "Harrier" II is a high-profile with one lift-marching turbojet engine with thrust vector control and bicycle gear. From its predecessor, the AV-8A, it differs in a number of technical innovations that were aimed at improving its flight performance. The most significant difference lies in the use of the wing, which was completely made of composite materials (the first such case on a combat aircraft in stories aviation) and having a supercritical aerodynamic profile.

In general, on the AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft, the use of modern composite materials is 26%, as a result, the weight of the airframe was reduced by increasing the aircraft’s combat load and fuel capacity at the same time. Composite materials are also good because they can be used to produce monolithic parts that previously needed to be assembled from several elements. Thanks to this, there was a real opportunity to significantly reduce the number of bolted and riveted joints. As an example, the nose section of the attack aircraft fuselage, which is completely made of composite materials, can be cited. If the AV-8A attack aircraft, which had an all-metal construction, required almost 240 parts to produce this section, the AV-8B attack aircraft requires only 88, the number of fasteners was reduced 2,6 times.

The AV-8B attack aircraft has a high wing with a moderate sweep. The wingspan was increased from 7,7 m to 9,25 m, and its area accordingly increased. The use of the supercritical profile, which has a large relative thickness, made it possible to achieve almost 50% increase in the stock of fuel located in the wing-tank compartments. To increase the maneuverability of the aircraft in air combat, special overhangs were established at the root of the wing. On the nose of the wing of the aircraft are small aerodynamic ridges, and on the upper surface of the wing - 24 turbulator.

The AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft has an all-rotary stabilizer spanning 4,24 m. Unlike its predecessors, the Harrier II stabilizer does not have a characteristic break along the leading edge. Composite materials are widely used in the design of the stabilizer, while the aircraft keel is made of aluminum alloys. The aircraft has a bicycle-type chassis with two wing supports. To facilitate the take-off of aircraft from the deck of aircraft carriers and highways, the chassis gauge on underwing supports was reduced compared to the previous version from 6,7 m to 5,18 m. The front landing gear has an 1 wheel, in flight this support retracts forward, and the main landing gear with coupled wheels - back.

The modern radioelectronic equipment used on the AV-8B “Harrier II” attack aircraft allows this (now not the most modern) machine to perform a fairly wide range of combat missions. During the development of the cockpit, the company McDonnell-Douglas widely used its experience in the design of the cockpit fighters F / A-18 and F-15. The dashboard on the Harrier II is focused in front, just like on an F / A-18 aircraft. The controls of the main armament, communications, navigation and identification systems are located on the top panel, which is located under the collimator indicator on the windshield (HUD).

Below were the usual arrow flight instruments, which play the role of a backup for the HUD indicator. On the left of the dashboard is a color multifunction display. This display displays navigation information, an image from the Maverik missile guidance system, data from the ARBS bombing system, warning signals about the aircraft’s radar exposure, and information about the management of the weapon system. Other information needed by the pilot can also be transmitted to the display. To the right of the pilot on the dashboard is a color display controlling the operation of the engine and the amount of fuel. The controls of the main attack aircraft systems are located on the control stick and the throttle control, and the cockpit of the aircraft was designed so that the pilot does not need to remove his hands from the control stick and the throttle control in air combat and during a ground target attack.

The AV-8B “Harrier” II attack aircraft can conduct combat operations day and night in any weather and has sufficient maneuverability to get away from enemy air defense fighters. His main tasks in the US Marine Corps are all types of air attacks: dive bombing and horizontal flight, delivery of cluster and conventional bombs, special bombs and laser-guided bombs, as well as air-to-surface and NUR missiles. The Harrier II attack aircraft, like all previous planes of this type, has 2-me-off-ventral units for the suspension of cannon-armed containers.

For firing at ground and air targets for the AV-8B, the 1x25-mm General Electric GAU-12 / U five-barreled automatic gun was chosen; her ammo is 300 shells. The GAU-12 / U itself is located in the left container, and in the right - its ammunition is located, which is folded into a multi-layered tape magazine. The whole system with ammunition weighs 558 kg. Between the nodes intended for the suspension of the artillery system containers, there is another central suspension hub for accommodating loads weighing up to 258 kg. Here bombs, photo reconnaissance equipment or a container with a radio-resistance system can be suspended.

Under the wing of the attack aircraft are located 6 nodes of the main armament suspension. The maximum mass of the combat load on the nodes of the winged suspension and one central ventral node is 4173 kg. A typical attack load on the AV-8B Harrier II at the wing assemblies consists of: 4 or 2 UR air-to-air missiles AIM-9L Sidewind; or the same number of air-surface "Harpoon" or AGM-65E "Maverick"; up to 16 high-explosive aerial bombs weighing 227 kg, up to 10 bombs with a laser guidance system "Peywey", up to 12 cluster bombs; to 8 incendiary bombs; up to 10 containers with NUR; 2-containers with guns; up to 10 containers with emitters or dipole reflectors.

Flight technical characteristics of the AV-8B Harrier II +:

Sizes: wingspan - 9,25 m., Length - 14,55 m., Height - 3,55 m., Wing area - 22,61 square. m
The mass of the plane is empty - 6764 kg., Normal take-off - 9413 kg., Maximum take-off - 14 061 kg.
Engine type - 1 TRD Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 (Pegasus 11-61), thrust 1 x 105.8 kN.
The maximum speed at sea level is 1065 km / h, at an altitude of 1186 km / h.
Fighting radius - 300-620 km.
Practical range 4 500 km.
Practical ceiling - 15 240 m.
Crew - 1 man.
Armament: 1X25-mm five-barreled gun GAU-12 / A Equaliser (ammunition 300 cartridges).
Maximum combat load: 5 360 kg.

Information sources:
-http: //lenta.ru/news/2013/05/23/harrier
-http: //www.airwar.ru/enc/attack/av8.html
-http: //myweapons.ru/aviaciya/samolety/shturmoviki/mnogocelevoj-shturmovik-av-8b-harrier-ii.html
-https: //ru.wikipedia.org
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  1. Dima190579
    Dima190579 31 May 2013 08: 13 New
    +2
    Of course, when else the F - 35 will go to combat units and the Americans need to fight every day.
    1. Landwarrior
      Landwarrior 31 May 2013 08: 42 New
      +4
      I agree with you. “Harek” is already a proven aircraft, and the F-35 does not know how to show itself.
      1. malkor
        malkor 31 May 2013 09: 33 New
        +3
        F35 is not an attack aircraft, and it is unlikely that he will be able to directly replace the harrier
        1. scliss
          scliss 31 May 2013 10: 06 New
          0
          Yeah. Deck.
          A-10A Thunderbolt and Su-25 require an airfield, and this one works without a runway.
          Attack aircraft - for the direct support of their troops.
          And f-35 is a fighter-bomber.
  2. avt
    avt 31 May 2013 09: 49 New
    +3
    Do not believe them! laughing They are quietly re-arming for the super generation Pha -35, and the fact that the Kharkivs are flying is an optical illusion! laughing
    1. Vovka levka
      Vovka levka 31 May 2013 14: 45 New
      +2
      Quote: avt
      Do not believe them! laughing They are quietly re-arming for the super generation Pha -35, and the fact that the Kharkivs are flying is an optical illusion! laughing

      Do not consider them stupid, this is far from the case. Not mistaken, only one who does nothing.
  3. alex67
    alex67 31 May 2013 10: 20 New
    +4
    WHILE THE F-35 WAITS, MAY REMAIN WITHOUT PLANES.
    FOR MARINE BATTERY STORMTROOM (AIRCRAFT SUPPORTING TROOPS) BETTER
    BATTERY FIGHTER AND CHEAPER IN OPERATION. winked
    1. Kavtorang
      Kavtorang 31 May 2013 15: 22 New
      +1
      Speak correctly. At the right time and in the right place, something more or less simple, tested and reliable is better than the child prodigy, which will be brought to mind somewhere and sometime. Yes, and sorry for the wunderwafl to ruin from anti-aircraft artillery fire wink
  4. Standard Oil
    Standard Oil 31 May 2013 12: 46 New
    0
    A very comfortable car, especially for American carrier-based aircraft, proven in practice, if there is still a modernization resource, why bother?
  5. USNik
    USNik 31 May 2013 14: 35 New
    +2
    The decision to extend the life of Harrier II aircraft was caused by delays that occurred with the supply of the latest F-35B Lightning II fighter take-off and vertical landing aircraft

    American geniuses, spend TRILLION bucks on horseradish and pretend that it’s necessary, they say another 5 years and a couple more billion and it will fly soooo ... good
  6. Kavtorang
    Kavtorang 31 May 2013 15: 18 New
    +2
    Yes, they’re doing it right, although they don’t like “mattresses” on our site.
    There is a layout diagram, a glider, an engine and the possibility of modernization are used. There is operational experience, combat use (although with not the most brilliant results) - was.
    And at the same time to re-equip all KMP aviation with an unfinished (yet) and cannon dumb soft-canal plane - even amers won't do that, not complete idiots.
  7. TS3sta3
    TS3sta3 31 May 2013 17: 35 New
    0
    the modernization of this ancient rubbish is a sign of hopelessness. even such useless warriors as small-shavens merged this scrap due to the inferiority thereof. and the mericos will have to kill on this UG because they are not able to create anything better.
  8. uzer 13
    uzer 13 31 May 2013 17: 35 New
    -1
    Since the Harriers are already in service, they must be used until the resource is depleted. Further development of such an aircraft, apparently, does not make sense and is a dead end. Moreover, in the air, these aircraft can not compete with the Russian deck MiG and SU. airplanes with an energy ratio of more than one, i.e. they can already take off without a runway run. Here you have a new promising direction for the development of carrier-based aviation.
    1. old man54
      old man54 31 May 2013 23: 31 New
      0
      Quote: uzer 13
      Already there are airplanes with an energy-to-power ratio of more than one, i.e. they can already take off without a runway run.

      And why do you say that just appeared aircraft with a thrust-weight ratio higher than the dynasty ??! A long time ago, about 20 years ago. MiG-29, Su-27 and the modifications are endless! The Su-27 has a thrust ratio of 1,2, for example. And what, he just takes off like a helicopter, without a runway run? :)
  9. Alf
    Alf 31 May 2013 18: 43 New
    +1
    PRIDE OF AMERICAN MARINE AVIATION - BRITISH aircraft Harrier.
  10. Kavtorang
    Kavtorang 31 May 2013 18: 59 New
    0
    Quote: Alf
    AMERICAN MARINE AVIATION - BRITISH aircraft Harrier.

    Not true
    The pride of aviation of the US Marine Corps - this will be right. And there is no need to ulcerate - our analogue is not.
    Or we create our own analogue, or we believe that this is not needed and the device does not fit into any application concepts.
    Then it needs to be argued. The "mattress" has an argument that the aircraft is needed.
    We have: "... in FIG it is needed ...". Our Su-27 will tear it like an Ace warmer. I do not continue further, for now the govnosrach will begin.
    1. uzer 13
      uzer 13 31 May 2013 20: 07 New
      +2
      An analogue of such an aircraft does not need to be created, because it was already created in the USSR, and even in appearance it looked like a Harrier. This is the Yak-38 airplane, in a later modification of the Yak-41. But due to known events and the lack of funding for work in this direction were discontinued and the prospects for their resumption are not expected.
      1. alex86
        alex86 31 May 2013 22: 17 New
        -1
        With all due respect to the Yak-141, the presence of separate lifting engines is a significant minus, and the operating experience of our VTOL aircraft is not very large and not very positive, and Harrier has been around for a long time and with excellent results. It is a pity that the Yak-141 did not receive development, as a result, they would have come to one lift-marching engine (like that of the F-35) - (just don’t sculpt that they stole the engine from us (version-bought) - they took only a rotary nozzle) - and since we are straining with aircraft carriers, we could have at least something similar to carrier-based aviation ...
        1. old man54
          old man54 31 May 2013 23: 48 New
          0
          Quote: alex86
          (just don’t sculpt that they stole the engine from us (version-bought) - they took only a rotary nozzle) - and since we were straining with the aircraft carriers, we could have at least something similar to deck aviation ...

          Well, to "take" (buy, steal, etc.) an idea and its implementation in metal, and fundamental, is this not enough? :)
          And why did you bother with the aircraft carriers that you find out at Pasha Grachev (the Mercedes), he is responsible for this, but now he lives somewhere happily ever after! If TAVKR Ave. 1143 would not have been happily cut into scrap then today would also be where the Yak-141 VTOL attack aircraft would be based on the Navy, and you look, with minimal modernization, you wouldn’t have to buy the Mistral, since the ships of the Ave. 1143 was much more suitable for these purposes than they are. And for the functions of the staff ship of the squadron and for the hospital and for the landing helicopter carrier including! 1
          1. alex86
            alex86 1 June 2013 19: 11 New
            0
            Quote: old man54
            And why did we bother with aircraft carriers

            Actually, I only lamented that we do not have further development of VTOL aircraft, which under the current conditions could help with carrier-based aircraft. That now Pasha is a Mercedes to remember, we have already blocked him more than once, I (once again) talk about the situation and that when a country has an VTOL (any), it’s better than when it’s not. That's all...
      2. Vadivak
        Vadivak 31 May 2013 23: 00 New
        +1
        Quote: uzer 13
        This is the Yak-38 plane,


        C-Harrier is still better at it and the engine is one and not three like that of Yak and it weighs 223 kg less (I don’t think so) and Pegasus consumes 20-25% less than PMD Yak-38 at the maximum refueling with PTB, the Harrier’s radius of operation is approximately 26% greater than that of a fully refueled Yak-38. And the Radar and PTB Harrier, after take-off from the springboard, will be able to drop over two tons of bombs on the target - against one and a half tons, which will provide the Yak-38 with WRC.

        But in addition to bombs, cannons and NAR, the Yak-38 would have had an X-23 missile that would be perfectly suitable against small ships, and the air-to-air missiles R-3 and R-60, later R-60M, were originally included in the armament of the attack aircraft. On the decks of Soviet aircraft carriers, the Yak-38 was regularly on duty in readiness for interception, with suspended R-60 missiles and / or cannon containers. Conditional interceptions of the circling cruiser adversaries were carried out constantly,
      3. old man54
        old man54 31 May 2013 23: 38 New
        0
        did not see your answer right away, sorry :)
    2. old man54
      old man54 31 May 2013 23: 36 New
      +1
      Quote: Kavtorang
      And there is no need to ulcerate - our analogue is not.
      Or we create our own analogue, or we believe that this is not needed and the device does not fit into any application concepts.
      Then it needs to be argued.

      we had an analogue, not the best of course, but it was !!! Yak-38. Then there was an “analogue” steeper than this “ferret”, the pre-production truth, but it was! Yak-141. The fact that he did not go into the series and did not put into service, not him, the plane, the fault, the traitors and thieves came to power in the country. So why are you like this?
      Su-27 of course the ferret will tear, who would argue then, how else could it be with the clash of the hysteria and the attack aircraft :) But he, the ferret, and the Yak-141 would most likely "break", I think so.
  11. 0255
    0255 31 May 2013 22: 31 New
    +1
    on paralay.com you can find out about vertically flying fighters designed in the Yakovlev Design Bureau. Projects exist only on paper, as no funding.
    And it would probably be smarter for the Americans to resume the X-32 program, maybe it would not be as problematic as the F-35.
    And to bomb the backward Arab countries, the old Harriers will also fit
  12. Kavtorang
    Kavtorang 1 June 2013 03: 40 New
    +1
    Quote: old man54
    we had an analogue, not the best of course, but it was !!! Yak-38. Then there was an “analogue” steeper than this “ferret”, the pre-production truth, but it was! Yak-141. The fact that he did not go into the series and did not put into service, not him, the plane, the fault, the traitors and thieves came to power in the country. So why are you like this?

    It was, but not now. I am a sailor, not a pilot, but as far as I am concerned, the production of the YAK-141 is impossible for technical reasons (all polymers have been drained), and the YAK-38 just does not make sense. There are no media and the device itself is hopelessly outdated.