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Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 9:00:34 AM   


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So, I'm new to the forums, and pretty new to the game.
I was doing the Canary's Cage scenario (the one where Spain is against some north African countries), and I found out that the Spanish carrier had very little anti-surface capability, because Harriers can't carry Harpoons, and the only missiles with anti-surface capability they can carry are Mavericks... Which is a bummer...
So, I googled the issue, in an attempt to find out whether or not Harriers could actually carry Harpoons. Turns out, and that's coming from a few sources, that the AV-8B Harrier II+ (which the Spaniards are using in the scenario), can and does carry AGM-84 Harpoons. Which makes sense.
Now, is there any particular reason why in-game the Harrier has no such capability? Is this done purposefully, or is this simply a mistake? And if it is a mistake, what are the chances that it will be rectified?

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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 9:42:33 AM   


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Does the Spanish Navy operate the air-launched version of the Harpoon (AGM-84)? I've been unable to find reliable info on this regard with a quick search; they certainly do have the shipboard version (RGM-84) installed on their surface combatants, and [armedforces dot co dot uk] doesn't list the missile in their inventory.

Maybe only the Air Force got it, and Naval Aviation has to make do without? Wouldn't make much sense, but knowing the tight budget of the Spanish Navy I wouldn't be surprised

(in reply to dontpKaniC)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 10:04:30 AM   


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Hmm... That could be the case, although according to the game database, the USMC Harrier II+ cannot carry Harpoons either, which is strange...
In Spain's case however, I've found an interesting article from June 2000, which states:
"Originally Spain, along with Italy, wanted to integrate the Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon with the Harrier but failed to get US Marine Corps funding support. The missile was also deemed too heavy."
This article goes on to say that Spain eventually decided to use the Kongsberg Penguin ASM instead... The problem is that in-game, the carrier cannot carry the Penguin either, which makes it pretty useless...
Again, this still doesn't explain why the USMC version of the Harrier cannot carry the Harpoon.

(in reply to Aivlis)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 10:37:55 AM   


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I guess the anti-ship mission is the task of the Navy, while USMC aviation role is too support amphibious landing and CAS for Marines. Which is logic.

(in reply to dontpKaniC)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 3:13:30 PM   
Vici Supreme


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Till date I've never seen a Harrier carrying a Harpoon...


(in reply to FoxZz)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 6:13:20 PM   

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I just don't see how a Harrier could carry a Harpoon.
I was an F/A-18 Hornet pc and have seen real Harpoons. They are LARGE.
I've seen Harriers at air shows, in Falklands War videos, and a couple times when we were out at sea with the Phibs.

If you've ever seen a Harrier land, you know it can be somewhat bouncy in adverse conditions and when the flight deck is pitching and rolling. If a Harrier comes back to the boat with an unexpended Harpoon under the centerline, there's a significant chance that either the missile, the plane, or both are going to get dinged-up during landing.

Could a Harrier carry a Harpoon on its scrawny wings? No way it could carry two (one on each wing)?

I'd love to hear from a real Harrier expert.

(in reply to Vici Supreme)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 7:38:31 PM   


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All of the sources that I could find, state the same thing: The Plus upgrade gave the Harrier II a new radar, which allows it to launch advanced missiles like the AIM-120 and the AGM-84. Nowhere does it actually say that a Harpoon was ever fitted on a Harrier though.
So, and this is merely speculation on my part, I think that the new Hornet's radar gives the Harrier the ABILITY, in theory, to fire the Harpoon. In reality though, they don't need to try to fit Harpoons on Harriers, because there are more suitable platforms for that purpose.
In Spain's case, they operate Harriers off of their carrier, so they wanted them to have some anti-surface capability. However, seeing as they would probably need to further upgrade the aircraft to allow it to safely carry Harpoons, they dropped the idea. Again, this is purely speculation.
If this is the case however, it means that the Spanish Harriers, really have only Mavericks to use against surface ships, because I couldn't find a shred of evidence that the AGM-119 Penguin was ever fitted on a Harrier either...

< Message edited by dontpKaniC -- 12/12/2015 8:40:09 PM >

(in reply to travcrouse)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/12/2015 11:14:07 PM   


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I fired up the scenario in question after reading your question and now I hate Harriers. They are just hopelessly outdated for the task expected of them here, not entirely unrealistic, sadly :/

The lack of reliable ASM in that scenario is an interesting limitation, though: you can load them on the F-18s at Morón and use tankers to extend their range, but their time over the AO will be short anyway, so the mission will need to be planned in detail.

(in reply to dontpKaniC)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 2:03:45 PM   


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The Harrier entry on Wikipedia states that the AV-8B can carry
the Harpoon missile, evidently without the solid rocket booster.


San Diego
Home of the World's Busiest Radar Approach Control

(in reply to Aivlis)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 5:26:57 PM   


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Keep in mind that the Spanish Navy Task Groups carry a lot of Harpoons on their ships.

(in reply to USSLockwood)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 6:19:40 PM   


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The air launched version isn't the same as ship or sub launched version.

if anybody has an operational picture of the Spanish harrier carrying a Harpoon that would be a great start.



(in reply to Gneckes)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 6:41:02 PM   


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After lurking some more in defense forums, I've run across a reasonable explanation: The Harrier II has compatible electronics and could theoretically use the Harpoon. However, the lack of central pylons on that airframe means it would need to carry 2 as a standard ASuW loadout, and then either fire off both or ditch them in order to be safely below it's Maximum Landing Weight. I haven't run the numbers but apparently the margin would be slim enough that it would be doable but would hinder operations to an unacceptable extent. I'm not too familiar with the Harrier II, but as far as I can remember it has no arrestor hook and always lands vertically, which is the main cause for it's inability to be recovered with unspent ordnance under one wing.

That said, I've yet to find ANY pics of a Harrier with a Harpoon loadout, Spanish or not.

(in reply to mikmykWS)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 8:15:08 PM   


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The RN old Sea Harriers FRS1 could carry 2 x Sea Eagles - how much heavier are Harpoons minus boosters? The Harrier II probably has more thrust too.

< Message edited by kula66 -- 12/21/2015 9:15:38 PM >

(in reply to Aivlis)
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RE: Harrier problem - 12/21/2015 8:35:45 PM   


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ORIGINAL: kula66

The RN old Sea Harriers FRS1 could carry 2 x Sea Eagles - how much heavier are Harpoons minus boosters? The Harrier II probably has more thrust too.

The issue wouldn't be the take off weight of the Harrier, but it's ability to land with that load. Plenty of aircraft can take off with a larger weight than they can land with, which is one of the reasons for the existence of fuel dump valves that allow for in-flight purging of the tanks.

(in reply to kula66)
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