The Sea Harrier entered service in April 1980, as a
reconnaissance and attack, subsonic jet fighter, providing air defence
for surface ships from aircraft carriers. With its vertical take-off
and landing capabilities, it proved highly successful in protecting
the British Task Force during the Falklands War - downing 20
enemy fighters. Mainly operating from HMS Invincible and
HMS Hermes, both ships were fitted with a ramp on the bow to
aid short take-off.