Volume One: Cold War Through The Falklands 1969-1990
Volume Two: New Threats, New Technology, New Tactics, 1990 - 2010
In Harrier Boys, Volume One: Cold War Through the Falklands 1969-1990, Bob Marston, who flew Harriers for many years, draws together accounts from others who worked with this unique jet through its history. The excitement, camaraderie and pride of Harrier operators shine through in the personal stories of those whose lives were changed by their experience of this iconic aircraft, both on land and at sea. In this first volume, events of the Cold War years are brought to life by contributors including Graham Williams, who flew the Transatlantic Air Race, Peter Dodworth, a member of the original Harrier Conversion Team, Peter Harris, a participant in the early defence of Belize, Sir Peter Squire, OC 1 (F) Squadron during the Falklands conflict, and Australian Dave Baddams, who commanded the Royal Navy Sea Harriers of 800 Squadron.
In the second volume of Harrier Boys, as with the first, the history of this remarkable aircraft in service with UK armed forces is illustrated through personal reminiscences of the people who worked with it. The book begins with explanations of the mature concept of operations with the Harrier GR3 in the Cold War. It then progresses through the evolution of Harrier II, starting with the GR5, and updates to the Sea Harrier, while the potential battles to be fought necessitated ever-changing tactics and technology. The new Harriers used digital developments for airframe, engine and weapons control. Conflicts in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan saw ground-attack missions move towards the delivery of smart weapons from medium level, rather than the dumb bombs and low level of the Cold War era meaning that the Harrier had once more to demonstrate its legendary versatility. The introduction of the Sea Harrier FA2, with its beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and improved radar, gave much improved air defence. The UK Harrier story ends with the closer integration of the RN and RAF forces, before the aircraft's all-too-early retirement in 2010, possibly decades before other countries forsake this unique capability.