|“|| Harrier ready for sortie.|
|“|| There is nothing to fear.|
Based in the true classic of British aviation, the British Aerospace Sea Harrier III jumpjet was developed specifically for close air support that was capable of operations from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Upon hearing of the project, interest from the Spanish and Italian navies grew, eventually leading to orders from said organizations. The decision was made by the British Ministry of Defence, when its intended replacement, the American F-35 Lightning, would not enter service for many years to come due to a number of safety issues and overflowing costs. Whilst the United States went on and shifted their focus to a more economical multirole version of the F-22 Raptor, many international partners of the Joint Strike Fighter program, including the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom opted out and were left with no adequate aircraft to fill the niche. So the development of a new CAS VTOL aircraft was needed.
BAE wasted no time on producing a new aircraft design that looked similar to a modernization of the 20th century Harrier. The Harrier III variant features omnidirectional LIDAR sensors and a CAPTOR-X AESA radar. It's powered by a Pegasus engine rebuilt with the latest materials, and has a maximum speed of Mach 0.8. Additionally, the hull has a radar signature reducing shape, although not to the extent of the F-22 or F-35. Since VTOL aircraft need to keep their weight down, the Harrier III is not nearly as well armored as an A-10, but has lightweight ceramic plating around the engine and other critical areas of the airframe, in addition to a heavy array of chaff/flares/decoys and standard IR and radio-band jammers. The Harrier III entered service just in time for Operation Nemesis where it proved to an efficient strike bomber when deployed from carriers in the Mediterranean. Standard loadout consists of Brimstone air-to-ground missiles and two Mauser 27mm autocannons.
By the beginings of 2040s, large parts of the british Harrier fleet were sold off to the Armada Española, and so, many of the Sea Harriers used during the Russo-European War were supplied by the Spanish Navy, seeing as their naval air wing was, besides England & some nordic countries, for the most part spared from the Russian air offensive against most European air forces. Both Spanish and Italian Harriers, launched from assault carriers, aided British sea and ground based aircraft in providing air support to the defenders during the unsuccessful Russian invasion of the United Kingdom.
Ever since the creation of the European Continental Army, Spanish carrier ships formed a large portion of the task force's naval branch and provided reliable close air support with their Harriers during ECA combat operations in North Africa. It was at this time when General Cutting of the British expeditionary force worked in close coordination with Admiral Pablo Garcia during the attack on Casablanca. Ten years later, in the most desperate phase of the Russo-European War, Charles once again called upon the help of his Spanish friend, successfully repelling General Aleksandr's ill-conceived invasion of England in one of the war's bloodiest, most decisive battles.
In combat, the Harrier is a deadly tank hunter thanks to its powerful Brimstone missiles that also engages both airborne and ground-based targets with a pair of 27mm cannons. Beyond that, its VTOL capabilities ensure a high level of mobility and allow the plane to fly idle in tight circles, making it less prone to sudden anti-air ambushes.
Disperse Chaff Countermeasures
|Launches 4 chaff countermeasures to a radius of 40 that breaks enemy missiles' locks, causing them to miss their targets. 20 seconds cooldown.|
- The Harrier is named Harrier Jumpjet in its production button due to the hotkey being mapped to J.