Air International 2016-12
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M.Scharenborg, R.Wenink - V/STOL Academy /Military/
An AV-8B Night Attack in clean configuration during an evening training flight over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina.
New Harrier pilots follow an intensive 11-month course where they accomplish 50 hours on simulator and 100 live flying hours on AV-8B Night Attack and TAV-8BS.
A mix of AV-8B Night Attack jets, like this aircraft, and AV-8B+ Radar aircraft is taken on board during a Marine Expeditionary Unit deployment.
An AV-8B Night Attack Harrier performing its final checks before taxiing out for a training flight with VMAT-203. The aircraft is carrying an AAQ-28(V) Litening Generation IV targeting pod.
The crew of a TAV-8B boarding their jet before starting up for a mission to Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue in North Carolina, where carrier and LHD training is conducted.
On average, VMAT-203 trains 20 to 30 US Marine Corps and international pilots annually, including British pilots who train to maintain V/STOL currency ahead of the F-35’s arrival.
The AV-8B Night Attack Harrier will remain in service until 2026 when all Harriers will have been replaced by the F-35B Lightning II.
An AV-8B Night Attack Harrier on the VMAT-203 flightline. The unit still has one Day Attack Upgrade Aircraft, an old AV-8B Day Attack with the bigger F402-RR-408 engine.
Having passed the strike pipeline, a future Harrier pilot will be assigned to VMAT-203 where they receive training initially on the TAV-8B, followed by solo flights on the AV-8B Night Attack.