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Harrier GR.7: Next Gen Jump Jet
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The Harrier GR.7 is a modification of the second generation British Harrier jump jet, developed in the 1980s as a means to expand the capabilities of the original Harrier. Soon, both War Thunder pilots and fans of this unique aircraft family alike will have the chance to take command of the Harrier II as it arrives in the game as part of the next major update, Drone Age!

Briefly: A further development of the well-known Harrier jump jet, featuring a new fuselage design and wing, resulting in a higher payload capacity.

Harrier GR.7, strike aircraft, Britain, Rank VII


  • V/TOL capabilities
  • Expanded weapons arsenal
  • Countermeasures
  • Subsonic

As the first generation Harriers were entering service, operational experiences highlighted the need for a potentially more capable aircraft. Therefore, both the McDonnell Douglas and Hawker Siddeley companies began work on an aircraft. However, as Hawker Siddeley soon backed out of the project, McDonnell Douglas continued working on a less advanced version, eventually leading to the AV-8B.

In 1978, the U.S. government permitted further development only if another major foreign buyer would join the project. Since Britain was already looking at upgrading their Harriers, the British Aerospace company joined the project and revived the joint venture. The Harrier II, as known in British service, differed from the American AV-8B primarily in the new wing design but it also featured different avionics and armament. The first prototype of the British version, known as the Harrier GR.5, undertook its maiden flight in April 1985 with production series aircraft entering service in 1987.

While the Harrier GR.5 was still in development, a new variant more suited for night-time operations was being worked on. The result of this was the Harrier GR.7 which first took to the skies in May 1990 and subsequently entered service in August. After entering service, the Harrier II had a prolific service career with both the RAF as well as the Royal Navy. The aircraft flew countless sorties during the Balkan and Iraq Wars and also participated in military operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


In War Thunder, the Harrier GR.7 will be a new strike aircraft awaiting pilots at rank VII of the British aviation tree, following the release of the Drone Age major update. Expanding the Harrier family of aircraft in the game into its second generation, the Harrier GR.7 not only gives seasoned War Thunder pilots access to another unique British aircraft, but it also brings with it improved handlings characteristics, and more importantly, a vastly greater payload over the original Harriers introduced several updates ago. Let’s get into some more details, shall we?

Among the many improvements the Harrier GR.7 features over the familiar GR.1 and GR.3 variants, is certainly the aircraft’s new engine. Unlike the older modifications, the Harrier GR.7 is powered by the Rolls-Royce Pegasus Mk.105 turbofan engine, which allows the aircraft to reach a top speed of 1,074 km/h at sea level. While this doesn’t result in an improved top speed, the combination with a new wing and improved fuselage lead to improved stability during flight, thus making the aircraft easier to control during flight.

Another notable difference when compared to the previous generation aircraft lies in the Harrier GR.7’s primary weapons. Namely, unlike with the GR.1 or GR.3 modifications, the Harrier GR.7 is fitted with a pair of 25 mm ADEN cannons, with 100 rounds of ammunition available to pilots per gun. However, where pilots will certainly feel the most notable upgrade over previous modifications is in the availability of suspended ordnance. In fact, the Harrier GR.7’s payload is nearly double that of the GR.3!

However, not only can the Harrier GR.7 carry more ordnance, it can also carry more advanced ordnance than any previous modification. Apart from conventional unguided bombs and rockets, the Harrier GR.7 also has access to later variants of the popular Sidewinder air-to-air missile as well as the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile. Rounding off the selection is also a range of Paveway guided bombs, varying in calibers from 500 over 1,000 to 2,000 lbs. As a result, aspiring Harrier GR.7 pilots will have a wide assortment of weapons to choose from in order to complete their mission, regardless of the type of enemy they will be going up against.

The Harrier GR.7 will await all pilots at rank VII of the British aviation tree, following its arrival in War Thunder as part of the upcoming Drone Age major update. In the meantime, make sure to keep a watchful eye on the news as we continue sharing what other exciting new vehicles and features await you in the upcoming update. Until then, clear skies and happy hunting pilots!

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