The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II is a family of second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing or V/STOL ground-attack aircraft of the late 20th century. An American-British development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and Sea Harrier, it is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks, and is typically operated from small aircraft carriers, large amphibious assault ships and austere forward operating bases.
Although the AV-8B Harrier II shares the designation with the earlier AV-8A/C Harrier, the AV-8B was extensively redesigned from the previous-generation Harrier GR.1A/AV-8A/C by McDonnell Douglas. British Aerospace joined the improved Harrier project in the early 1980s, and it has been managed by Boeing/BAE Systems since the 1990s.
The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps. The British Harrier GR7/GR9 versions were used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Versions are also used by NATO countries: Spain and Italy. The Harrier family models are referred to commonly as the "Harrier Jump Jet".