Armour Collection B11B251 RAF Harrier GR. Mk. 7 Jump Jet - 1 Squadron, East Timor, Operation Warden, 1999 (1:48 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The AV-8B Harrier II is a second generation vertical short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft based on the original British Harrier design of the late 1960's. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost, and basing flexibility -- both afloat and ashore -- V/STOL aircraft are well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the US Marine Corps.
The primary mission of the AV-8B Harrier II is to provide close air support to ground forces. Secondary missions include short range interdiction, fighter escort, deck launched interception, and combat air patrol (CAP).
After completing operational evaluation trials in March 1985, the USMC AV-8B Harrier II was formally approved for full production some six months later. A two-seat training version was introduced in 1987 and a night attack version entered service in late 1989.
Pictured here is a spectacular 1:48 scale diecast replica of a Harrier Gr. Mk. 7 flown by the RAF's No. 1 Squadron. Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Operation Warden" - The INTERFET coalition forces began deploying to East Timor on September 20th, 1999, led by a vanguard of nine warships, including Portuguese NRP Vasco da Gama, British HMS Glasgow and United States USS Mobile Bay, and later the USS Peleliu. Most UNAMET (United Nations Mission in East Timor) personnel, as well as Indonesian military, police and administrators had already been evacuated from the region in the preceding months by the Royal Australian Air Force and other allied air forces, including the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
The arrival of thousands of international troops in East Timor caused the militia to flee across the border into Indonesia. Sporadic cross-border raids by the militia against INTERFET forces, particularly in the southern border held by the New Zealand Army, led to suspicion that the militia had the tacit support of the Indonesian military.
Five months later, on February 28th, 2000, INTERFET handed over command of military operations to UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor).