Following its successful introduction into service with the Royal Airforce, the Harrier generated considerable interest for export orders to other countries. The largest demand for the vertical take-off and landing aircraft came from the United States Marine Corps, who saw the excellent potential to provide close air support while operating from the decks of the smaller amphibious landing ships supporting the Marines. Starting in the early 1970s, the Harrier entered service with the USMC. The AV-8A Harrier was used by the Marines until 1979, when it was replaced by the AV-8C, and today the USMC flies the AV-8B Harrier II.
Airfix’s 1/72 Hawker Siddeley AV-8A Harrier is the third boxing of Airfix’s new tooling of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. This time, it includes new parts to represent the AV-8A and provides decal options for two aircraft. A USMC Harrier from VMA-513, which was based at Misawa Air Base in Japan in 1976, and an AV-8S Matador, operated by the Spanish Navy in the early 80s.