The Harrier was the world's first successful VTOL jet to be adopted by any military. Using thrust-vectoring nozzles, the Harrier can redirect thrust downwards to take off and land on any flat surface, making it very useful for operations from aircraft carriers and other bases with limited runway space. You may remember it as the jet that Arnie flew at the end of True Lies. Valued at 7 million Pepsi points.
In Team Yankee
Represented as a close support aircraft, the current version of the Harrier is a bomber that comes in anti-infantry and anti-armor variants depending on the nation. It boasts a 3+ chance to come in on the table, meaning that you can rely on it to come every two turns at worst or rely on it coming in twice.
Should the situation dictate it, you may have your Harriers use their nose-mounted 30mm Aden guns instead of their bombs if you need them to engage enemy helicopters or small units of unarmoured vehicles and infantry. However, do not expect them to kill very much with a mediocre 5+ FP. Forcing mass bails however... -Evil laugh-
However, their 5+ Aircraft save renders them a rather fragile unit against any anti-air. Consider using other elements of your force to suppress or destroy the enemy AA net before your harriers come in to finish the job!
Harrier Attack Flight (USA)
Armed with an electrically-powered 30mm Aden 5-chamber revolver cannon and anti-armor CBU-100 cluster bombs (Rockeyes), the Harrier can deal with both air and ground targets. It has less firepower than the A-10 but can also take on Hinds or other helicopters (other pilots have made gentlemen's agreements to take turns taking the local airspace). The reason for the Rockeye, an anti-armor cluster munition(!), being a piddly 5+ FP is anyone's guess.
While DRASTICALLY cheaper than the British Harrier at 1.5 points per plane, it pays for the discount dearly. Dropping its firepower from a 3+ to a 5+ severely weakens its ability to destroy armor, merely forcing mass bails. However, this does not mean it is useless. With a 3+ call-in, it is the only anti-infantry salvo template available to the US after the Cobra's rocket pods. Furthermore, AT7 against top armor makes this a potential combo piece; bailing a mass of vehicles before you assault them with your
cowardly Capitalist pigdogs brave American warriors, forcing autokills.
The US Harrier flights can be found in the American and Iraqi army lists, strangely enough.
Your pilots also boast a 3+ courage, which translates to the last pilot being less likely to run away.
Fun fact: The real AV-8 used by the Marines was equipped with a GAU-12 Equalizer, essentially a smaller and more manageable version to the A-10's legendary GAU-8: Harriers with Aden guns were used primarily by dainty officers with teacups and biscuits.
Harrier CAS Flight (British)
Considered to be part of the 3rd Division as 'Divisional Air Support', these birds would be considered to be part of the Royal Air Force, not an integral component of the Division's organization. They would serve as attachés instead, returning from the front to well-maintained RAF bases rather than muddy foxholes.
The superior gentlemen pilots of the RAF boast a superior 3+ skill compared to
the dirty colonials their Yankee counterparts, while the BL-755 Cluster Bomb has an AT value of 8, but pay for the increments by costing 5 and 10 points respectively, considerably more than the Marines' second hand equipment well maintained armaments. As suggested by their bloody huge payloads, these vehicles are meant to utterly destroy any concentration of units, especially tanks. 8AT against top armor means that tanks have a 1 in 6 chance to TRY and bail, while 3+ firepower means that 2 in 3 hits will be a kill. Lighter vehicles such as BMPs and BTRs need not bother; they simply test for Firepower as their glorious Communist steel is turned into Shashlik.
Overall, one of the best British units for raw firepower and cost-efficiency right now. Easily the best aircraft in the game thanks to its 3+ Call In and its 3+ FP AT8 Salvo, beating out literally every other aircraft in terms of efficiency (templates vs direct fire missiles), raw damage, reliability (3+ call-in) and only losing out to the Frogfoot and Warthog's armor saves. A single pass could easily cripple SEVERAL platoons against an opponent without proper spread. Even if shot down, the template is guaranteed to seriously hurt any unit and make its points back. Enemy infantry on the objective? The Harrier will pin them and possibly even kill more than a few. Enemy T-80s or M1IPs? The Harrier will kill far more than 10 points worth of vehicles.
The Harrier is something unique as a VTOL aircraft designed as a ground support aircraft, rather than the typical multirole design favored at the time. While it can't break the sound barrier, this hasn't stopped it from making a long and successful air to air combat record like the Falklands War where French Mirage 5s were downed thanks to superior British piloting. In fact, its comparative lack of speed makes it an ideal platform for weapons which benefit from a longer time over target such as the Marines' GAU-12.
Most are equipped with a pair of Sidewinder missiles for such situations when the Harrier is engaged, or for targets of opportunity such as helicopters and inferior enemy attack aircraft (VERY inferior. Most planners would expect the outdated, MIG-21 to go toe-to-toe against the Harrier due to differences in armament). The versions flying in 1985 had no radar to reduce weight and so could not be expected to take on advanced fighters; although improved versions of the 90's had advanced avionics, the US version receiving the same radar as the F/A-18.
Regardless of its limitations, the design was so successful that the USSR copied as much as they humanly could from visuals and public information but ended up choosing different engine configurations for an overtly dismal performing aircraft. The Harrier has been widely exported with continued service, from Spain to Thailand.
The Harrier was supposed to retire at least a decade ago by the F-35B. However due to right out incompetence of the DOD's current procurement practices. To repair the current fleet. The USMC has to scavenge from older planes and pieces of mothballed aircraft. So the old Harrier will be kept in service well into the 2020s and maybe even longer.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan - RDF/LT|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon - Light Motor Infantry Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M - M270 MLRS|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter|
|British Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||Chieftain - Challenger 1|
|Transports:||Spartan Transport - FV432 Transport - FV510 Warrior - Lynx Transport|
|Infantry:||Mechanized Company - Milan Section (Mechanized) - Airmobile Company - Milan Platoon (Airmobile) - Support Troop|
|Artillery:||Abbot Field Battery - M109 Field Battery - FV432 Mortar Carrier -M270 MLRS|
|Anti-Aircraft:||Spartan Blowpipe - Tracked Rapier - Chieftain Marksman|
|Tank Hunters:||Striker - Spartan MCT - Swingfire|
|Recon:||FV432 FOO - Scorpion - Scimitar -FV721 Fox|
|Aircraft:||Harrier Jump Jet - Lynx HELARM|
|Iraqi Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||T-55 - T-62 - T-72M|
|Transports:||BTR-60 - OT-64 - AMX-10P - BMP-1|
|Troops:||Motor Rifle Company|
|Artillery:||2S1 Carnation - 2S3 Acacia - AMX Auf1 - BM-21 Hail|
|Anti-Aircraft:||ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA9 Gaskin - SA-8 Gecko - Roland AA|
|Tank Hunters:||Spandrel - VCR/TH|
|Recon:||BRDM-2 - BTR-60 OP|
|Aircraft:||MI-24 Hind - Gazelle HOT|
|US Support:||A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier|