The Hawker Siddeley Harrier was developed as a Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) fighter for the Royal Air Force. It is a single-engine, single-seat, subsonic V/STOL multi-role combat aircraft. After the prototypes underwent several revisions, a partnership between Hawker Siddeley and McDonnell Douglas was formed to produce the Harrier in the late 1960's. The Hawker Harrier GR.1 first flew in 1967, and the type was introduced into Royal Air Force arsenals in 1969. All Hawker Siddeley Harriers operated by the USMC, renamed AV-8A in American arsenals, were produced in the United Kingdom and purchased by the United States, and entered service in 1971 with the USMC. Later variants used by the USMC, such as the AV-8B Harrier II, were manufactured by McDonnell Douglas in the United States.
The AV-8A Harrier is a 55-point multirole combat aircraft/light strike platform available to American and NATO arsenals. It carries twin ADEN 30 autocannons, ninteen 70mm CRV7 rockets, and a pair of AIM-9J AAMs. It has no ECM. The AV-8A is effective at attacking lightly armored columns, and is able to attack enemy helicopters in its operating area. The AV-8A's lack of ECM and short range missile compliment leaves the aircraft vulnerable to enemy SAMs and long-range AAMs, however, at 55 points per aircraft, these drawbacks are not prohibitive.
The AV-8A Harrier in Wargame: Red Dragon is a 60-point multirole combat aircraft/light strike platform available to American and NATO decks. It carries twin ADEN 30 autocannons, two Mk 83 500kg bombs, and two AIM-9J AAMs. It has no ECM. The AV-8A is effective at attacking lightly to moderately armored targets with its Mk 83 bombs. While not as devastating as the Mk 84, the Mk 83 has enough power to threaten troops, their transports, support vehicles, or low to mid-range tanks. The bombs alone make the AV-8A a much more dangerous aircraft in Red Dragon. It still can attack helicopters operating in its area, and is still vulnerable to enemy SAMs and AAMs, due to its lack of ECM and lack of a long range missile.