Harpoon Block II Anti-Ship Missile, United States of America
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 defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and naval ships anchored in ports.
Over 600 warships, 180 submarines, 12 types of aircraft and mobile land-based launch platforms are armed with Harpoon missiles.
Harpoon Block II features
The major system components of the Harpoon Block II missile include a booster, launch support structure and canisters, as well as command and launch system. The 500-pound penetration, high-explosive blast warhead provides the missile with enough firepower to destroy coastal defence and surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port / industrial installations and docked ships.
The ship-launched Harpoon Block II has a length of 4.62m, while the length of the air-launched missile is 3.84m. The diameter of the missile is 34.3cm. The weight varies between 526kg and 690.8kg based on the launch configuration.
Guidance and navigation
The missile employs GPS-aided inertial navigation system (INS) to strike targets on land and ships stationed in port. Harpoon Block II integrates the low-cost inertial measuring unit from the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) programme.
It also uses a software package, mission computer, integrated GPS/INS, and GPS antenna and receiver from the AGM-84H SLAM-ER (Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response).
The guidance control unit (GCU) of Harpoon Block II integrates a selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) GPS receiver. The GCU can also be incorporated with a data link for network centric operation.
The GPS/INS decimates midcourse guidance faults on the way to the target area while performing conventional anti-ship missions including open-sea and near-land. The accurate navigation combined with improved launch system provides better discrimination of target vessels from islands and nearby land zones or other ships. The advanced features of Block II provide high hit probability against warships near to shore or travelling in narrow sea routes.
Harpoon Block II propulsion details
The missile is propelled by a Teledyne Turbojet engine / solid propellant booster providing a thrust of over 600lb (272.2kg). The propulsion system provides high subsonic speed and range of 124km.
Launch platforms for Block II missile
The multi-mission Block II can be launched from all Harpoon missile launch systems equipped with existing command and launch systems or the Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS).
The missile is deployed from submarines and surface ships such as fast patrol boats, destroyers and frigates. The aerial platforms include F/A-18, F-15, F-16, F-27, F-50, P-3, S-3 aircraft. The Harpoon Block II missiles can also be launched from mobile land-based truck platforms.
Harpoon Block II orders and deliveries
Boeing received the first contract for Harpoon Block II in November 1998. The first Harpoon Block II missile was delivered in 2001.
In April 2004, Boeing was awarded a $20m contract to deliver Harpoon Block II missile retrofit kits for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
In June 2009, Boeing delivered the first four Harpoon Block II missiles with a redesigned GCU to the US Navy for transfer to two nations under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
In August 2010, India and US signed a FMS contract for the delivery of 24 Harpoon Block II missiles for the maritime strike squadron of the Indian Air Force.
In July 2011, Boeing was awarded a $120m firm-fixed-price contract by the US Navy for the production of about 60 Lot 86 Harpoon missiles and associated systems for the US and six other nations. The deliveries began in August 2011 and were concluded by mid-2012.
In June 2012, Boeing received a $145.1m firm-fixed-price contract from US Naval Air Systems Command for 90 Harpoon Block II missiles and associated hardware for the US and four foreign customers. The contract also includes example and test variants of the SLAM ER. The missile deliveries are expected to be made through December 2013.
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