The AV-8B V/STOL strike aircraft was designed to replace the AV-8A and the A-4M light attack aircraft. The Marine Corps requirement for a V/STOL light attack force has been well documented since the late 1950s. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost and basing flexibility, both afloat and ashore, V/STOL aircraft are particularly well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the Marine Corps. The AV-8BII+ features the APG-65 Radar common to the F/A-18, as well as all previous systems and features common to the AV-8BII.
The mission of the VMA STOVL squadron is to attack and destroy surface and air targets, to escort helicopters, and to conduct other such air operations as may be directed. Specific tasks of the AV-8B HARRIER II include:
? Conduct close air support using conventional and specific weapons.
? Conduct deep air support, to include armed reconnaissance and air interdiction, using conventional and specific weapons.
? Conduct offensive and defensive anti-air warfare. This includes combat air patrol, armed escort missions, and offensive missions against enemy ground-to-air defenses, all within the capabilities of the aircraft.
? Be able to operate and deliver ordnance at night and to operate under instrument flight conditions.
? Be able to deploy for extended
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