Harrier 2 potential future loadouts

Can anyone find any documents proving this loadout is possible?

Plane in the second image isn’t a Harrier 2 (AV-8B). It’s a Sea Harrier FA.2, which was a modernised 1st gen Harrier with the original small wings etc.

thought so, so i guess the UK can get it too

the first one seems to be some variant as AFAIK the av8b+ only have 6 hardpoings in the wings

yeah I thought so too, I have only ever seen AV 8B + with the 6 hardpoints so I’m not sure if that one is a experimental variant or something that was planned.

Pre-production AV-8B+, all production AV-8B+ had 6 wing pylons.

For information on Sea Harrier FA.2 (right hand aircraft in your image) you can go here;

I keep the original post as up to date as I can and it has been created using primary source information.

For information on British Harrier II’s you can go here;

Same applies to this thread, I keep the original post as up to date as I can and it has been created using primary source information.


I found some people calling that picture of the AV 8B+ an oscar variant, do you know what that is? I have never seen an AV 8B+ with more the 6 wing pylons, if it is pre-production why was the pylons reduced to only 6 and could a pre-production variant be a possible addition to the game?

I can only speculate but the requirement for the outrigger pylons was brought on by the RAF, so I guess the other customers didn’t see a need for them.

I can’t say officially either way, but if enough information could be gathered you could make a suggestion in the suggestion section of the forum;

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thank you, I will continue to look for more info but its scarce.

OSCAR (Open Systems Core Avionics Requirements) was the USMC program to upgrade the AV-8B’s electronics for JDAM, Litening pod etc. it was in parallel to Spain and Italy’s requirement for adding enhanced weapons like Litening, AMRAAM etc. but the USMC didn’t add AMRAAM capability until several years after Spain and Italy.
OSCAR started in 1998 through to the early 2000s. But as I said in the other Harrier thread, this photo looks older (before September 1992) because some features that were added between the original AV-8B and the upgraded AV-8B(NA) and AV-8B+, appear to be missing.
The paint scheme is also reminiscent of the two-colour wraparound camo worn by AV-8Bs in the early 90s, but with different colours. Rather than being the more generic “tactical grey” camo that was applied to AV-8B+ in the USMC, Spain and Italy

The radar-equipped Harrier II project started off as a private venture by BAE, McDonnell Douglas et. al in 1987 and wasn’t until 1990 that Spain, Italy and USMC actually signed up to pursue production of this variant, with the first flight in Sept 1992.
So I think this is a maximalist vision that BAE/MD presented for a radar-equipped Harrier II to potential customers, before the production requirements and budget of the three partner nations was set down.

okay thanks, so do you think it would be possible for any AV 8B+'s to have the ability to have AMRAAMs on all six pylons and would this photo be enough proof for that? its not much but I can only find forums for other things briefly discussing what the photo is and no conclusion on what it could be.

Probably not currently, no. The outer pylons don’t have the MIL-STD-1760 wiring that the 4 inner pylons received during OSCAR when things like JDAM and AIM-120 were added, so haven’t been treated to the same standard when it comes to the stores management and data bus. The inner 4 can definitely carry AIM-120 though.

The USMC set out their ambition to have 1760 added to stations 1 and 7 in 2017 (pg.59). But it was still pending in 2022 (pg.78)


Hi, I appreciate you taking the time to post these sources and going through each page as well for us.

Can you explain what “probably not currently, no” means. When asked if all 6 pylons can be utilized for Aim-120 capability.

I assume you meant probably means its technically possible. Further adding that the USMC even set out to procure the 1760 and implement it, but as far as we know is was still pending in 2022.

Is that correct?

So being that its technically possible.

Giving the capability to the Harrier in War Thunder would not be any more fictional than giving an IRST system and CM dispensers to a prototype aircraft called the Yak141 that never had the capability, nor was it ever planned in any literature or official documentation. Yes?

I guess it would all come down to whether developers see it appropriate for balance reasons, BR placement etc. Right?

It meant it’s not technically possible unless the Harriers have actually had the outer pylons wired for MIL-1760.

2022 was the most recent update on planned upgrades for USMC Harrier and there was no clear evidence that this planned upgrade had been carried out at the time of posting. Since the upgrades were first planned in 2017 and evidently had not been carried out for the 5 years between 2017 and 2022, it was most likely that the status quo has continued and AV-8Bs are not technically capable of launching AIM-120 from the outboard weapon stations. Or indeed other payloads that require MIL-1760 such as AIM-9X, or advanced 70mm rockets such as APKWS and those with programmable fuzes.

Through 2023 there had been no press release or imagery from the USMC relating to the AV-8B indicating the wiring changes or other changes mentioned concurrently in the upgrade plan such as AIM-9X and AIM-120C integration, have taken place. USMC Harriers are still only flying with AIM-120A or B and AIM-9M in recent media.
i.e. the wiring upgrade was unlikely to have been carried out because the other planned enhancements had not. And as of Feb 2024, there is still no evidence that any of those upgrades have been carried out.

The 1760 wiring for the outboard stations are primarily intended for AIM-9X and APKWS integration, rather than AIM-120 carriage anyway. When you see an AV-8B with AIM-9X on the outboard stations, then you will know the Harrier is technically capable of launching AIM-120 from those stations.

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Thanks for following up!

Having not physically done the modification (as we know it) is not synonymous with the upgrade being technically impossible.

You indicate the USMC placed an order to equip MIL-STD-1760 on station 1 & 7 and was still pending as of 2022. Yes?

The Marines would have never placed the order had it not been technically possible.

Why or if the upgrade took place should not be relevant.
The ever-changing combat doctrine of the Marine Corps as new threats emerge, budgets constraints & the Harrier II being phased out etc. can all be factors.

Or… the order was delivered and implemented, and we just do not know it. Hardly a massive effort worthy of a press release for an aircraft being phased out.

One can argue since the order was made. It was purchased beforehand. It is safer to say it was implemented rather than it never happening because we personally do not know of it.

The truth is, it is technically possible. The upgrade could have already taken place.
It is also tactically feasible since the Marines put the order in in 2017 and would have never done it in the first place had it been not.

That is a logical assumption. But an assumption it is none the less.

I am only interested in if its technically possible, not whether its tactically feasible for whatever mission setting the Marne Corp assigns it. The mission setting that would entail equipping the Aim-120 on the outer pylons may have not arisen publicly therefore you have not seen it.

Obviously, the Marine Corps felt there is a need to place an order. How specialized that need is could vary.

Thank you again. I cannot wait for the jet to come out! Love the Italian one a lot.


It says CY (calendar year) 2022.

That does not mean upgrades will take place 2017-2022 and if you did not hear about within 5 years automatically assume it never happened.

Since when do they do a press release the exact moment any military puts a brand new combat capability in service? They already said the calendar year 2022.

Why would they telegraph that to the world and adversarial nations?

Are your a 100% positive not a single upgrade took place because you did not personally hear of it, see it on social media? Therefore it never happened?

Again, what military has a press release the moment a new combat capability goes online and in service?
Year 2022 implementation. The Marine Corp and pentagon was rushing these planned upgrades.

Do you have any actual evidence every single planned upgrade for 2022 in the page above did not taken place so therefore the STA 1 and 7 1760 Cable upgrade – CY 2022 did not happen like you stated above?


Pentagon Requests Funding To Accelerate Harrier Data Link Upgrades - USNI News
USMC accelerating the installation of Link 16 on AV-8B – Alert 5


Not true.

There is a contract ID/Order No. Even what Boeing facilities will carry out the upgrades.

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded $29,867,702 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 1001 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0001) to integrate a Link 16 Tactical Datalink capability into 73 Radar variant AV-8B Harrier aircraft in support of the Marine Corps, including terminal kits and accompanying aircraft wiring and installation hardware kits. Work will be performed in Carlsbad, California (70 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (20 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5 percent); and Huntington Beach, California (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2019. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $11,047,267 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Boeing to Integrate Link 16 into AV-8Bs | AFCEA International

Boeing got paid a crap ton of cash years ago.

$29,867,702 to do a lot of upgrades that have everything to do with the Aim-120 and you are saying that not a single one of those upgrades took place because we the public did not get a press release or a social media post?

Therefore, we must assume the STA 1 and 7 1760 Cable upgrade probably never happened?

No… Boeing has been upgrading the Harrier for years PER CONTRACT w/CONGRESS & deliveries to USMC 2022.


Regarding the cable.

This is an extremely cheap, simple upgrade to equip pylon 1 and 7 with Aim120 and Aim9X capability. It is literally a pylon cable.

The Marine Corps went through all the trouble getting the cash from congress, securing a contract & paying Boeing to update and integrate link 16 capability in the radar of the AV-8B including wiring and installation hardware kits.

All of which directly relate to the Aim-120 but we must assume they did not get the cables for pylon 1 & 7? Why?
Because there was no press release or social media post showing them off?

At least when it comes to it happening in game the standard for evidence would require proof the upgrade actually happened. So although it could have happened and lack of evidence doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. We would still need evidence that it did actually happen.

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March 9, 2017, 3:56 p.m. EST
The Naval Air Warfare Center - Weapons Division (NAWCWD) AV-8B Joint Systems Support Activity (JSSA) Integrated Product Team (IPT) in conjunction with PMA-257 have a follow-on requirement to support development of System Configuration Set (SCS) updates, Avionics and Weapons Integration, and Avionics obsolescence mitigation support for the T/AV-8B aircraft. The Boeing Company is the prime T/AV-8B aircraft designer, developer, and manufacturer and is the incumbent on current contract N6893612C0141.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, CA intends to procure, on an other than full and open competition basis under the authority of FAR 6.302, only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency need. This is a follow-on procurement to contract N6893612C0141 for research and development for the AV-8B Joint Systems Support Activity (JSSA).

This contract will provide engineering support during the development of System Configuration Set (SCS) H7.0 and HX.0 updates, Avionics and Weapons Integration, and Avionics obsolescence mitigation for the T/AV-8B aircraft.
AV-8B System Configuration Set and Avionics Integration Support (highergov.com)

Gun, but there is zero evidence that the supersonic VTOL aircraft in the Soviet tech, the Yak-141 was ever equipped or “upgraded” with IRST or equipped with CM dispensers. There is not even a shred of evidence it was ever planned and would be on the completely imaginary serial production variant we currently have and never existed.

The Yak-141 model has completely shattered the previous standard of technically possible but in the name of balance. GJ modelled a IRST on the narrow nose without considering an IRST system may not even fit with its prototype radar. Additionally, GJ has completely guessed where CM dispensers would be placed.

There was never an upgrade for the Yak-141. GJ just gave it capabilities never planned or carried out on any existing prototype and made-up a serial a production variant that still has the prototype name.
I am not asking for the Yak-141 to be removed but it’s quite a double standard when there is plenty of evidence the AV8Bs were upgraded as planned 2022 per contract.

The NAVY paid Boeing for a multitude of upgrades, link 16 for capability with F-35s, Litening Gen 4 that was already carried out on (55) AV8Bs and deliveries of the MIL-STD 1760 CABLES were delivered in 2021 per contract above.

Of course, It’s really not a big deal, it’s just two pylons and was fun looking into it.
But I think it is fair to conclude that the 6x Aim-120 compatibility does meet all the criteria for implementation in the game. Except in regard to balance which is yet to be seen.

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No…We do not need to see an Aim9X on the outboard stations to know the station is Aim-120 capatible… We just need to see APKWS on the outer pylons because APKWS does in fact require the 1760 wiring in which you admitted.

L’US Marines Corps retirera du service ses AV-8B Harrier II en 2028 — avionslegendaires.net


Have I sufficiently proven the AB-8B Harrier II is capable of the Aim-120 on all 6 pylons?