RAF Harrier from 20 Sqn at RAF Cosford Airshow

The Harrier GR9 is the latest of the Harrier 'Jump Jets' originating from the 1960s.



Capable of taking off and landing vertically, the Harrier is not tied to airfields with long concrete runways but, if necessary can be dispersed to sites in the field close to the forward edge of the battle area.



The Royal Air Force and The Royal Navy will standardise on the Harrier GR9/9A in a move announced by the MoD in 2002, UK MoD officials said the type rationalisation was in preparation for the introduction of the Future Joint Combat Aircraft and the Future Aircraft Carrier in 2012.

The MoD explained that the optimum development of the JFH is to support only one Harrier type to its end of service life, the 'more capable GR 9'.

The JFH received its first upgraded Harrier GR9 from BAE Systems' Warton facility in November 2005. Under the terms of a 500 programme the avionics of some 60 x Harrier GR 7/7A will be upgraded to GR9 standard and 11 x Harrier T 10 will be upgraded to T 12 standard.

The GR9 programme will incorporate a major upgrade to the aircraft's avionics and weapons systems will enable the aircraft to carry a variety of current and future weapons. These include Maverick air-surface missiles, Brimstone anti-armour missiles and AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defence. A new, stronger composite rear fuselage will also be fitted. These aircraft will become Harrier GR9s, whilst those with the uprated engines and weapons systems will be Harrier GR9As. The programme also includes an upgrade of the two-seater T10 aircraft to the equivalent GR9 standard known as the Harrier T12.

Harrier GR7/7A GR9 GR9A T MARK 10 Specifications
Crew (GR7, GR7A, GR9, GR9A)  1
Crew (T Mark 10, T12) 2
Length (GR7, GR7A,GR9)  14.1m
Length (T10, T12)  17m
Wingspan (normal)  9.2m
Height (GR7)  3.45m
Height (T10)  4.17m
Length (GR 3/3A)  16.83m
All Up Operational Weight Approx 13,494 kg
Max Weapon Load 10,000lb/4,500kg
Ferry Range  (with 4 x drop tanks) 5,382 km (3,310 miles)
Max Speed (at sea level) 1,065 k/ph (661mph)
Engine (GR7, GR9, T10, T12) 1 x Rolls-Royce Pegasus Mk 105 
Engine (GR7A, GR9A) 1 x Rolls-Royce Pegasus Mk 107
Armament on seven available wing stations 2 x 30mm Aden guns
4 x wing weapon pylons
1 x under-fuselage weapon pylon
Conventional or cluster bombs
2 x Sidewinder AIM-9L AAM
Up to 16 x Mk 82 or six Mk 83 bombs
4 x Maverick air-to-ground anti-armour missiles
Paveway II and III laser-guided bombs
Brimstone anti-armour missiles
CRV-7 rocket pods
2 x Storm Shadow CASOM


Photo Copyright Alasdair Taylor