[Video] U.S. Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and (armed) Harrier refueled over the Mediterranean Sea

Marines AV-8B Harrier jet and MV-22 Osprey aircraft from USS Bataan get refueled by KC-130s from Sigonella airbase.

The following video shows fixed-wing and rotary-wing aerial refueling exercise, involving AV-8B and MV-22s, over the Mediterranean Sea with Special Purpose Marine Air- Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) Crisis Response KC-130s in June 2014.

Interestingly, the Harrier carries a single GBU-12 500-lb LGB (Laser Guided Bomb) on the right hand underwing pylon. The bomb seems to be marked with a yellow stripe (barely visible, painted on the olive drab color aft of the front guidance kit) which indicates the presence of explosive: in other words, it’s not an inert weapon.

The reason for carrying live ordnance is unknown. Most probably the aircraft were armed and ready to provide support to the evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, which eventually took place on Jul. 26 amid continuing clashes between rival militias.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I’ve never seen that object on the nose of the Harrier before. Can anyone tell me what it is? It’s the rectangular piece below the canopy with the circular lens (?) in the center.

  2. Ospreys are amazing. I was on a walk months ago, when a vague sense that something was happening struck me, although I could hear nothing. I was already looking up at the sky when I heard the first thump-thump of those big rotors. An Osprey was making a brief stop at our local (Auburn, AL) airport. It’s a most impressive sounding aircraft.

    Either my body or my hearing must have been picking up the infrasound from those rotors before it was close enough for the higher frequencies that we can consciously hear. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

    “Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low-frequency sound, is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz (Hertz) or cycles per second, the “normal” limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, the sound pressure must be sufficiently high. The ear is the primary organ for sensing infrasound, but at higher intensities it is possible to feel infrasound vibrations in various parts of the body.”


    The video is marvelous well-done. It features three of my favorite aircraft.

  3. I was at the helicopter mechanic’s course at MCAS New River in early ’04 when the Osprey’s were still in their testing phases and new mechanics and crew chiefs were starting to be trained for them. Got up close an personal with a few. I always really liked them. Once the training caught up with the peculiar transition from vertical to normal flight and was no longer a Marine-killer, it became a fantastic flying machine.

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