The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the World’s first vertical take off fighter evolved from the P.1127 project and the follow on from this, the Kestrel. The Harrier has gradually evolved through the GR1-GR3 and the AV-8A, the American version. Later Aircraft were upgraded to the GR5, GR7 and the current Mk GR9. The RAF and The Royal Navy both operated variants of the Harrier, the RN using the Sea Harrier variant. Other Mks of Harrier are also operated by the Indian Navy, Italy, Spain and the United States.
The Harrier has had a long and successful detachment of several years operating in Afghanistan, which it has recently returned from in time to celebrate it’s 40th anniversary at RAF Wittering. The Harrier is unrivaled throughout the World and plays a major part both on land and sea.
In 2010, The Ministry Of Defence announced that it was to retire the Harrier from service, both in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force; and the remaining 72 aircraft were sold to the US Marine Corps