Ships Ahoy! The Harpoon Missile Family
November 1/18: International Orders Boeing is being contracted to supply multiple US foreign military sales customers with anti-ship missiles. The $244.7 million not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price contract enables the company to procure long lead material for the Harpoon full-rate production Lot 91. The Harpoon Block II is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile capable of performing land-strike and anti-ship missions. The missile leverages progress on several other weapons to reduce its cost. The Harpoon’s GPS/INS guidance system is taken from Boeing’s JDAM program, and its GPS antennae and software are found on Boeing’s SLAM. The missile’s 500 pound blast warhead can deliver lethal firepower against targets like coastal missile batteries and ships in port. Work will be performed at multiple locations including – but not limited to – St. Charles, Missouri, Galena, Kansas and Elkton, Maryland.
The sub-sonic, wave-skimming GM-84 Harpoon is the US Navy’s sole anti-shipping missile, with the minor exception of small helicopter-borne AGM-119B Penguin missiles. The Harpoon has been adapted into several variants, and exported to many navies around the world. At present, the Harpoon family includes AGM-84 air, RGM-84 sea/land, and UGM-84 submarine-launched versions. Variants such as the Joint Standoff Land Attack Missiles and the upgraded AGM-84K SLAM – Expanded Response will also be covered in this DID FOCUS Article. It describes the missiles themselves, and covers global contracts involving this family.
The Harpoon family’s best known competitor is the French/MBDA M38/39/40 Exocet, but recent years have witnessed a growing competitive roster at both the subsonic (Israel’s >Gabriel family, Russia’s SS-N-27 Klub family, Saab’s RBS15, Kongsberg’s stealthy NSM, China’s YJ-82/C-802 used by Hezbollah in Lebanon), and supersonic (Russia’s SS-N-22 Sunburn/Moskit, SS-N-26 Yakhont, and some SS-N-27 Klub variants, India’s SS-N-26 derived PJ-10 BrahMos) tiers.
GM-84 Harpoon Family: The Missiles
GM-84 Harpoon Family: Contracts & Key Events
FY 2013 – 2017
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: Harpoon Family
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