The iconic Hawker-Siddeley Harrier was designed to fight the Cold War from the fields of West Germany but won its battle spurs in the Falklands, Belize and Afghanistan. It was controversially scrapped by the British Government fifty years after entering service with the RAF and its loss raised serious questions over Royal Navy fleet protection. This book not only describes the aircraft and its operations but includes quotes from the pilots who flew and fought in it.
Author David Oliver describes the development and production of the Harrier from the original Kestrel project, which was the only successful attempt at a vertical take-off and landing aircraft at the time. He follows the Harrier into service with the RAF and also covers the development of the Sea Harrier, with its special characteristics and its extraordinarily successful performance in the Falklands War where its unique engine made it an agile fighter. He also describes the use of the Harrier in other deployments such as Belize and Afghanistan, covers Anglo-US developments and examines the legacy of the Harrier in the shape of the F-35B Lightning II multi-role fighter.