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All You Need to Know About The Spanish Harrier!

Published: 03 May 2019   updated: 10 May 2019

All of us at Air Tattoo HQ were absolutely thrilled when we learnt that the Spanish Harrier would be displaying at the Air Tattoo this year. The Spanish Navy Harriers, in the form of the earlier AV-8S and TAV-8S variants were last seen at the Air Tattoo in 1994, with the last Harrier flying display in 2010. 

Then when we learnt that TWO will take to the skies on all three days of the show, there was an even greater level of excitement all around the office. Find out all you need to know about the Spanish Harrier below...

Name: Spanish Navy EAV-8B Harrier II Plus

Squadron:  9 Sqn

Type: Fighter


In October 1972 the Spanish Navy took a step forward integrating into the Harrier V/STOL program developed by Hawker Siddeley. In 1987 12 AV-8B were procured and formed the core of the 9th Squadron. The first three units arrived on October 6th 1987 and were dubbed 'Cobras'.

The Harrier II PLUS has a totally redesigned and larger fuselage. New wing fuel tanks were incorporated and Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 engines installed.The plane has carbon-fiber composite leading edge root extensions wings (LERX).

However, the main feature is the nose with its state-of-the-art AN/APG-65 pulse Doppler radar with different configurations: air-air, air-surface with an advanced multi-mode, all-weather, day and night system.In 1996 and 1997 8 further 'Harrier' II PLUS were built by Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A.

The Squadron has since clocked up more than 50,000 flight hours. The Spanish Navy intends to continue upgrading its 'Harrier' squadron with better versions in order to keep this valuable tactical asset fully operational.

Did you know that....

  • The Harrier can take off and land vertically. It can also fly backwards, sideways and even rotates on the spot. This is sure to impress you all over the Air Tattoo weekend.
  • The Spanish Navy was the first international operator of the AV-8B when they signed an order for twelve aircraft in March 1983.
  • The Spanish Navy 9th Aircraft Squadron (AV-8B Harrier II Plus) has clocked up more than 50,000 flight hours!

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