Harrier AV-8B N/A has proven itself in conflict in both the real, and now also in the virtual world of DCS.
It’s primary selling point is, that it is capable of performing a vertical takeoff and landing whilst laden with weapons,
and speaking of which,the Harrier’s armament selection is rather wide. Ranging from a multitude of unguided bombs and rockets of various sizes, to guided
munitions such as mavericks, which come in IR and later in laser seeking flavours, as well as GBUs.
So far pretty standard, however it can also perform DEAD fairly effectively with Aim-122 Sidearm missiles.
It isn’t completely toothless, and carries a 20mil gun pod as well as a maximum of four Sidewinders.
The harrier performs as it should, at least more or less. The flight model seems good, but I feel it might be a little too forgiving, but maybe that’s just me coming back
to FBW after spending a long time in older jets and helicopters.
The cockpit is a beauty, and most items have been modeled with love and care. Same can’t be said for animations, as it is lacking some button presses and the likes.
That is because it’s still in Early Access, and it has most of its systems still gutted. However, the systems we do have, work reasonably well.
It has great synergy in carrier operations with pre-existing aircraft such as the Su-33 (Although realistically they wouldn’t work together), and can deliver a fair amount
of weapons downrange and return to a carrier without breaking a sweat. That said,it’s not going to pummel the A10-C into submission and take its place,
but it’ll make for a great alternative for those who want to pound targets on the ground and fly a bit faster than a snail.
In a nutshell, the Harrier is definitely a diamond in the rough, and a formidable predator in the night skies.