After receiving preliminary deliveries of the improved craft, the Marines did not waste any time urgent the Harrier II into service. It is a seasoned veteran of the primary and second Gulf Wars (1990 and 2003), Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and different NATO conflicts. It was notably instrumental within the first Gulf Conflict, Operation Desert Storm, the place Harrier II plane delivered greater than six million kilos of weapons and different provides to the entrance strains.
The AV-8B Harrier II obtained one other improve in 1992, turning into the AV-8B Harrier II Plus. In addition to a extra highly effective engine, the Plus adopted superior electronics for improved operation at evening and in inclement climate. Manufacturing of the plane resulted in 2003, however Boeing continues to help AV-8B Harriers flown by the USA, Italy, and Spain. By 2029, it should lastly be phased out in favor of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II. In whole, greater than 340 items have been constructed.
The Harrier II was additionally concerned in an notorious promoting marketing campaign for Pepsi Cola in 1996. Advert executives thought it will be humorous to run a tv industrial promising one of many jets to any Pepsi drinker in a position to acquire seven million reward factors — a aim presumably unachievable.
Nevertheless, school pupil John Leonard discovered a loophole. As an alternative of accumulating Pepsi cans, the Pepsi Factors could possibly be bought at a value of 10 cents every, which signifies that the $23-million jet could possibly be obtained for the cut price worth of $700,000. Leonard finally sued Pepsi for the airplane, however the courtroom dominated that the promotion was clearly meant to be a joke. What was not a joke was the avalanche of unhealthy publicity that Pepsi obtained in consequence.