AV-8B Harrier II: History, Performance and Discussion

Innermost pylons could mount AMRAAMs, right? Would have to check

A good run down can be found in the following thread.

image excerpts sans discussion.

And of course the F-5A got access to MERs on the wing station due to a single image from ground tests, so the following wouldn’t be without precedent.


US AV-8B+ equipped with an AIM-120C, now we just have to find pictures of AIM-9Xs

WAIT so 10 amraams and 2 sidewinder loadout is possible?

Not for any variant of the Harrier I & II that saw manufacture, let alone service with any nation (at this point in time).

Theoretically it would be a limit of 8x -120s + 2 x -9s (With sidewinders carried on the non flight rated (for the AV-8B variants) outrigger stations), for an unholy A2A focused testbed combining elements of the Sea Harrier FA.2 for the fuselage station Missile stations, and AV-8B+ for outer wing station CRLs.

The most (A2A) missiles that could be carried is 6x in either; a 4 + 2 or 2 + 4 configuration (AIM-120 / AIM-9) for service variants, with a 6x Sidewinder being potentially possible, though never actually fielded outside testing / software compatibility.

Sure there is the potential for something like the LAU-115A/A w/ 2x LAU-127 dual rail config to be ported over from the Hornet to allow for two missiles per station in the future, but I would have to guess that weight and space constraints (both with inter station clearance, and ground clearance) may make this impractical, though operational need may make it valuable considering recent anti-drone / AShM operations, and so place a premium on a larger number of stowed kills though the APKWS II with proximity fuses seems to be the better (and operational) option since it contributes more effective stowed kills per station.

I knew GJ would not run the full Aim-120 6x but not even a 4x Aim-120 loadout?

Only 2x Aim-120s & 2x Aim-9Ms


4x Aim9Ms

I know this harriers is faster & best maneuverability, & best gun. So, I am not sure what to make of it. I would at least think allowing 2x Aim9M on single pylon be fine. Like they did for the Sea Harrier.

No one flew the Italian harrier because it had nothing much. I do not think this would change it.

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It’s possible the harrier II weren’t wired for the twin mounts like the SHars are. Even the harrier Gr7/9s don’t have the twin mounts

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just offering possible consolations to offset to aim-120s

Come whine about it getting the wrong rockets here

For some reason US aircraft are still receiving rockets that the US military ran out of in the 90s

(Also its missing APKWS)


GE skin for the Harrier II+


The AV-8B+ should have 6x AIM-9 capability, NWP 3-22.5-AV8B, Vol. II specifically states that outrigger pylon capability was added to NA and + aircraft, which are wired for AIM-9s (and AGM-122)


Pretty sure the Stores Management System on AV-8B is going to be very similar to Harrier II. Which supports six sidewinders.


In fact AV-8B+ for USMC and Marina Militare Italiana never armed & never fired AIM-120A

I want gajin implemented AIM-120B replace AIM-120A this month. and in the future add GPS guidance precision-guided munition (PGM) JDAM (GBU-32(V)2/B & GBU-38(V)2/B) and Laser JDAM (GBU-54/B)

I think the ability to carry 4x Aim9M with 2x Aim-120s is better than 4x aim120s.

Because the Harrier is not a fast jet as you all know (It’s a ridiculously fast subsonic fighter though).

In game you only have enough time to get off one optimal aim-120 shot before you must go defensive. Your Aim-120 launches will be less kinematically optimal then the opponents (supersonic capable) most of the time because their launches will be initiated at the speed of sound or higher.

The harrier runs out of energy most after its first big turn. Going defensive is very costly on its performance. By the time you defend the opponents ARH attack & can now go offensive, you are completely out of energy & in a dogfight with the opponent while they have the energy & thrust advantage.

What about HMD? Is that an upgrade that did or is not planned? I think the Harriers IIs are in for a terrible time unless they get additional missiles either or.

Harrier Gr9A got HMS, but no idea about the US/Italian Harrier IIs.

Personally, I think Id actually run Aim-120s over the 9Ms. Their off-boresight capability at the moment is rather insane and I just dont find Aim-9M good enough most of the time. Often way too easy to defeat

Both the AV-8B+ and the SHar are going to have an… interesting time to begin with. But hoping htey can shift down a little as and when people get more use to ARH and how to deal with them.

I was hoping we skip this harrier & got Gr9. But it’s cool

Hmmm, but how are 120s truly off bore if is required that you point the nose at the opponent to some degree before you have opportunity to launch?

In ACM the radar AN/APG-65 does not have fov wide enough above your nose to capture at dog fighting range. The Sea harrier likewise iirc.

Why skip the Gr9A?

Gr9A is a Gr9 with better engine and HMS

in the FA2 im finding I can drag the reticle all the way to the edge of FoV and still land a hit, but 9Ms in that same situation would never hit.

Blue Vixen is pretty good in a fight (same as that found on the Gripen currently) though it is missing a major ACM mode as its “not modeled in game”

Unless the nerf ARH capability down for gameplay purposes (which I suspect they will) the Harriers will get dunked out. They are lowest range Aim-120s of all ARH in game because their launches will 98% of the time be made at subsonic & lower altitudes.

Then it has HMS capability. Not HMD per say where a display on the visor etc. Similar to Russian fighters irl.

That is awesome. Thats what the Bs do not have.

FA2 doesnt have HMS, you can just lock on with TWS and then lock the Aim-120s onto the target at the edge of the radar screen.