Hobby Master HA2602 USMC AV-8B Harrier II Jump Jet - VMA-311 ("Tomcats"), Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 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 1:72 scale replica of a USMC AV-8B Harrier II jump jet flown by VMA-311 ("Tomcats") then participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2003. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 7.75 inches
Release Date: December 2009
Historical Account: "Tomcats" - Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311) is a United States Marine Corps fighter squadron consisting of AV-8B Harrier (V/STOL) jets. Known as the "Tomcats", the squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 13 (MAG-13) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).
In 1988, VMA-311 received its first AV-8B Harrier and shortly thereafter headed into harm’s way again. On August 11th, 1990, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, VMA-311 deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield, leading all other Marine fixed-wing squadrons into Saudi Arabia where they were based out of King Abdulaziz Naval Base. While there, the Tomcats were the most forward deployed fixed-wing squadron. On January 17th, 1991 while in support of Operation Desert Storm the squadron became the first to utilize the AV-8B in combat when a flight of four destroyed an Iraqi artillery position.