USMC AV-8B Harrier II

Representing, arguably, the greatest breakthrough in aircraft technology, the Harrier was the first VSTOL-capable (vertical/short takeoff and landing) jet in the Marine inventory, giving MAGTF commanders new flexibility on the battlefield. The mission of the Harrier is to attack and destroy surface and air targets, escort helicopters and conduct deep air support, including armed reconnaissance and air interdiction, using various types of missiles and bombs. The Harrier is designed to be fully operational in both day and night conditions. The capabilities of the AV-8B were highlighted during expeditionary air operations during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The demonstration consists of a display of the aircraft’s abilities, including a 90-degree climbing turn, a high-speed pass over the runway, and a vertical landing in front of the crowd.

For more information about the Harrier and other Marine Corps aviation assets, visit