Ships Ahoy! The Harpoon Missile Family
May 16/19: Obsolescence Redesign for Saudi Arabia The US Navy awarded Boeing a $10.9 million contract modification supporting the Harpoon Block II missiles for Saudi Arabia. The modification provides for obsolescence redesign efforts in support of production and delivery. The Harpoon all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile can be installed on the P-3 Orion, the P-8 Poseidon, the AV-8B Harrier II, the Hornet as well as the B-52H Bombers. Block II intends to to offer an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting. Boeing will perform work within the US. The scheduled completion date is in August this year.
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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