The Harrier is designed to give immediate low level, high speed close support, in the attack and/or armed reconnaissance role, from the forward edge of a battle area.
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Background: The Harrier is designed to give immediate low level, high speed close support, in the attack and/or armed reconnaissance role, from the forward edge of a battle area.
Six development (pre-production) Harriers have been built and are now engaged upon a detailed flight development programme.
1,000 lb. H.E. bombs and practice bombs have been carried.
68 mm. SNEB rockets have been fired from their MATRA launchers. (The Harrier can carry 108 such rockets, each one capable of penetrating 15 inches of armour plate).
100 and 230 gallon under wing fuel tanks have been carried.
The Harrier has been flown in excess of MACH 1.
The in-flight refuelling probe has been flown and successful (dry) contacts have been made with the port, starboard and centre drogues behind a Victor tanker at heights up to 40,000 ft.
Tropical trials have been completed in Sicily.
The complete navigation/attack system, including the head-up and moving map displays, has been flown.
The first production Harrier will fly before the end of this year and delivery to the Royal Air Force will commence next year.
The Harrier will enter the Service with an initial war load capability of 5,000 lbs. and a ferry range, (without in-flight refuelling) of approximately 2,000 nautical miles.