Third party DCS contributor team RAZBAM is best known at the moment for their Mirage 2000C module, however, that is likely to change with the introduction of the AV-8B Harrier. Indications are that the Harrier may become available soon!
Vertical takeoff and landing plus night attack
The AV-8B that RAZBAM is modeling is a Night Attack variant of the versatile AV-8B used by the United States Marine Corps. First in service in 1985 the aircraft has served through to the present day and is expected to retire in 2025.
For those not in the know, the Harrier was developed to be a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft though with weapon loads its more of a vertical short takeoff (VSTOL) and landing type. Able to be used at small forward airbases with little to no runway or from the decks of smaller aircraft carriers – the Harrier is a versatile aircraft.
Its subsonic so its not as fast as other types but despite that it gave a good account of itself in British service during the Falklands war and its been used in nearly all of the major operations with the USMC for many years. Less of a fighter and more of an attack plane in USMC service it is still capable of entering combat with other aircraft .
The night attack version has forward looking FLIR, improved HUD, provisions for night vision goggles, and a digital moving map system. Some later updates include the ability to carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 Harpoon missiles.
Here are a list of weapons it can carry
according to the RAZBAM Facebook page:
UPDATE: The list of available weapons contained inaccuracies for the AV-8B N/A variant. It has been updated according to this post on the ED forums:
- MK-82 LD
- MK-82 Snakeye
- MK-82 AIR
- MK-83 LD
- MK-20 Rockeye
- GBU-38 (JDAM)
- AGM-65D Maverick (IR)
- AGM-65E Maverick (Laser)
- AGM-65K Maverick (CCD)
- AGM-65H (Training)
- AGM-122 Sidearm (Sidewinder based Anti-radiation missile. To be developed by us)
- LAU-10 (FFAR x 4 HE)
- LAU61C (FFAR x 19 HE)
- LAU61C (FFAR x 19 WP)
- LAU68D (FFAR x 7 Practice)
- LAU68D (FFAR x 7 HE)
- LAU68D (FFAR x 7 WP)
- LAU68D (FFAR x 7 Parachute illumination)
- LAU68D (FFAR x 7 Practice smoke)
For months the RAZBAM team have been constantly updating their Facebook page with new images of the Harrier and even a few videos showing it off in action. That has naturally excited fans but like the anticipation of the Hornet, people are hoping to actually fly it sooner than later.
This week it seemed as if something was imminent. An updated cover image featuring the Harrier, a ‘poker face’ meme and finally another image of the Harrier with a series of ellipses suggested that something was about to happen at the team was on the edge of their seats waiting to tell everyone.
Something obviously delayed that release, but it looks like something will very likely happen very soon. As early as next week I’d anticipate or perhaps longer.
The Harrier brings a unique mix of capabilities, a famous and iconic aircraft, and its pretty exciting for many fans who can’t contain themselves waiting for this aircraft to become available – even if its in alpha or beta early access format.
In the meantime, checkout the RAZBAM Facebook page and stay tuned!
That’s not all…
Though the AV-8B is nearing completion there are updates slowly coming out for the MiG-19P and for the A-29 Super Tucano. We haven’t heard much about the Mirage III recently but all indications are that the team is working on that too.
Image sources: RAZBAM FaceBook page.