Ships Ahoy! The Harpoon Missile Family
August 14/20: Captive Air Training and Tactical Missiles Boeing won a $15.6 million order, which provides for the production and delivery of 25 Harpoon Block II+ captive air training missiles and 24 tactical missiles. Harpoon Block II is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile manufactured by Boeing Defence, Space & Security. It is the world’s superior anti-ship missile capable of performing land-strike and anti-ship missions. The all-weather missile can engage a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and naval ships anchored in ports. Work will take place in Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Alabama, Minnesota, Arizona and Iowa. Estimated completion will be in August 2023.
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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