BAe P.1216 Supersonic ASTOVL
The work for AST.403 cumulated with the P1216. This Harrier came very close to making the leap into production. In this aircraft, all the benefits of the pegasus were retained, and all the problems with the P1127 were resolved. In the P1216, the RAF would have a true multi role tactical aircraft to match and beat the F-16.
Events were to overtake the P1216 however. In 1985, BAe’s Kingston design office of Hawker heritage closed with military R&D moving to Warton, the ancestral home of English Electric. The Warton design office had been developing the ultra-STOL tilt jet P103, a much more formidable aircraft than the P1216 which had far fewer design ‘features’ to de overcome.