There was no financial support for the development from HM Treasury, but aid was found through the Mutual Weapon Development Project (MWDP) of NATO.The Hawker P.1127 was ordered as a prototype and flew in 1960.The competency levels at the Ministry of Defence are woefully low.
Historically the Harrier was developed in Britain to operate from ad-hoc facilities such as car parks or forest clearings, avoiding the need for large air bases vulnerable to tactical nuclear weapons.
There are two generations of four main variants of the Harrier family: The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first generation-version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier.
The Sea Harrier is a naval strike/air defence fighter.
The Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1/GR.3 and the AV-8A Harrier were the first generation of the Harrier series, the first operational close-support and reconnaissance attack aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capabilities.
These were developed directly from the Hawker P.1127 prototype and the Kestrel evaluation aircraft.