The Harrier Strike is available after seven kills in a row are attained (six, with Hardline). It consists of two airstrikes, similar to the Precision Airstrike in terms of power, but the third jet that flies over the map hovers with a turret, which targets enemy players - users of Cold-Blooded are not affected by the turret but can be killed by the airstrikes.
As with all other killstreaks in Modern Warfare 2, Harriers add kills to the user's streak, making the Harrier very useful for obtaining higher rewards such as the Pave Low, Chopper Gunner or the AC-130.
Before the actual hovering harrier, there's a small precision airstrike of two planes, with the third Harrier simply flying to the selected area and hovering over it. The hovering jet attacks players on the ground with its cannons and also targets enemy helicopters with anti-air missiles. The Attack Helicopter, Pave Low and Chopper Gunner are quickly destroyed by a hovering Harrier, although heavily damaged harriers may be destroyed by Attack Helicopters which infrequently fire anti-air missiles of their own. Harriers do not engage each other or AC-130s (which can in turn easily target them). A Harrier can be taken down with one shot from a Javelin or Stinger, but requires two hits from AT-4s or RPGs.
Two Harriers near each other can easily be destroyed by one Stinger or Javelin missile; the Harrier can also be targeted as a means to destroy a Pave Low or other helicopter as well, when they fly nearby.
For a Game/Round Winning Killcam gained by the hovering Harrier earns the TitleTrue Liar. Attaining such a kill with the airstrike portion earns Finishing Touch instead.
On large maps the Harrier will sometimes get stuck firing long range at someone and missing. This is because Harrier bullets fire in a deterministic spread left then right of the target. At range, this bracketing is large enough to allow a person to squeeze between shots. In these cases, as long as the target doesn't move the Harrier will waste the rest of its flight time firing at one target and do no damage.
Harriers have 3000 health, take 0.5x base damage from bullets, are destroyed instantly by Stingers, Javelins and Predator missiles/AC-130 guns, and take 2100 damage from RPG-7's and AT4-HS's.
The Harrier was originally set to appear in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but was cut before the game's final release, the only proof that it exists are cut quotes of the Multiplayer announcers. Also, two HUD icons can be found.
When the Airstrike is in effect, the minimap icons for the first two Harriers making the Airstrike are smaller than the icon for the hovering Harrier attacking the other players.
Harrier jets do not collide with buildings.
The Harrier makes two references to the movie True Lies: when the player gets the game-winning kill, they receive the title "True Liar", and the prestige challenge for getting Harrier kills is called "You're fired!", a reference to the line Arnold Schwarzenegger says to the head terrorist before killing him.
If the player gets kills with the Airstrike portion of the Harrier strike, they count as airstrike kills, like those of the Precision Airstrike and Stealth Bomber. These kills are recognized by the picture of three bombs on the killfeed.
If a Harrier shoots down an enemy Attack Helicopter, Pave Low, or Chopper Gunner, the player will not be awarded the Flyswatter challenge or count towards Cold Blooded challenges.
If a Harrier is shot down as it is departing the map, the sound of it leaving will still be played, although it was destroyed.
In game, the killstreak's kill icon points to left as a result of wrongly defined "flip" parameter.
In Highrise (confirmed only in splitscreen), if a Cold-Blooded player jumps off of the map by the south-east spawn, the Harrier will slowly float down to a distance from which a player can knife the Harrier.
Friendly factions' (TF 141, Navy SEALS, etc.) harriers have a grey camouflage scheme commonly seen on most U.S. fighter jets as well as well as a U.S. Airforce logo on the side of the nose and the number 8 on both of the wings (topside). Enemy factions' (Militia, Spetsnaz, etc.) harriers have a jet black color scheme as well as a Russian flag on the tail rudder of the jet (both left and right).
In the Content Collection 1 Trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a Harrier Strike is seen being called in on the multiplayer map Black Box, even though it doesn't appear as a killstreak in the actual game.