The AV-8B Harrier II is capable of Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL), allowing it to operate from short runways, forward operating bases, and amphibious assault ships.

It features thrust-vectoring nozzles that can be directed to provide both vertical and horizontal thrust, enabling the aircraft to hover, take off vertically, and transition to forward flight.

The AV-8B is highly effective in providing close air support (CAS) to ground troops, with the ability to deliver precision strikes against enemy positions and armored vehicles in close proximity to friendly forces.

It can carry a wide range of weapons, including air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, unguided rockets, and gun pods, allowing it to engage a diverse array of targets with lethal firepower.

In addition to CAS, the AV-8B can perform a variety of missions, including reconnaissance, armed escort, air interdiction, and anti-ship warfare, making it a versatile platform for expeditionary operations.

The AV-8B is equipped with modern avionics systems, including a glass cockpit, multi-function displays (MFDs), and a digital flight control system, enhancing pilot situational awareness and mission effectiveness.

Some variants of the AV-8B are equipped with night vision goggles (NVGs) and advanced targeting pods, enabling nighttime operations and precision strikes in low-light conditions.

The AV-8B can operate from amphibious assault ships, providing close air support and air defense for Marine expeditionary units during amphibious operations and crisis response missions.

The AV-8B Harrier II is operated by several air forces worldwide, including the United States Marine Corps, Italian Navy, Spanish Navy underscoring its versatility and global reach.

The AV-8B Harrier II is subject to ongoing upgrades and modernization efforts to enhance its performance, survivability, and maintainability, ensuring its relevance and effectiveness in modern air combat environments.