During the Falklands War in 1982, RAF and Fleet Air Arm Harriers and Sea Harriers flew in action against the invading Argentinean forces. RAF Harriers have also seen active service over Bosnia, in Desert Storm 1 and 2, and in Afghanistan. The Hawker Siddeley/Bae Harrier, formally referred to as the 'Harrier' or colloquially as the 'Jump Jet', is a British-designed military jet combat aircraft capable of Vertical/Short Take-off and Landing (V/STOL) via thrust vectoring. The Harrier family is the only truly successful design of this type from the many that arose in the 1960s.The Hawker P.1127 first flew as a prototype in 1960 and the RAF ordered a modified P.1127/Kestrel as the Harrier GR1 in 1966. Harriers of a number of different marks have since been used by the RAF, US Marine Corps, the Royal Navy, the Spanish Navy and the Royal Thai Navy.
Denis J. Calvert is an authority on military history and as an aviation journalist he has covered military aviation over 30 years. He lives in Cambridgeshire.