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AGM-84 Harpoon

From Academic Kids

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Harpoon_asm_bowfin_museum.jpg
A Harpoon missile on display at the USS Bowfin museum at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The AGM-84 Harpoon is a U.S. all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. It has also been developed, as the AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM).

Harpoon uses active radar guidance and low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory to improve survivability and effectiveness. The missile is capable of being launched from surface ships (RGM-84, fitted with a solid-rocket launch booster that detaches when expended to allow the missile's integral turbojet to maintain flight), from submarines (UGM-84, fitted with a solid-rocket launch booster and encapsulated in a container to enable submerged launch through a torpedo tube), or (AGM-84, without the booster) from aircraft.

Originally developed for the US Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleet-wide use, the AGM-84D has been adapted for use on Air Force B-52G bombers, which can carry from eight to 12 of the missiles. The AGM-84E has been adapted for use on the F-16 Fighting Falcon, in use by both the USA and the United Arab Emirates. The Royal Australian Air Force can fire AGM-84 series missiles from its F-111C/G Aardvark, F/A-18 Hornet and AP-3C Orion aircraft.

The AGM-84D was first introduced in 1977, and in 1979 an air-launched version was deployed on the Navy's P-3 Orion aircraft.

The chief competitor of the Harpoon is the French Exocet.

Harpoon Block II

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Harpoon-block-II-launch.jpg
Harpoon Block II test firing from USS Decatur.

In development is the planned Harpoon II, intended to offer an expanded engagement envelope and advanced counter-measures together with improved targeting. Also due to be deployed is the SLAM-ER (Expanded Response), an upgrade to the AGM-84E SLAM system.

General characteristics

  • Primary Function: Air, surface, or submarine launched anti-surface (anti-ship) cruise missile.
  • Contractor: Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
  • Power Plant: Teledyne Turbojet and solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch.
  • Thrust: 660 lbf (2.9 kN)
  • Length:
    • air launched: 12 ft 7 in (3.8 m)
    • surface and submarine launched: 15 ft (4.6 m)
  • Weight:
    • air launched: 1,145 lb (519 kg)
    • submarine or ship launched from box or canister launcher: 1,385 lb (628 kg)
  • Diameter: 13.5 in (340 mm)
  • Wing Span: 910 mm (3 ft) with booster fins and wings.
  • Range: Over-the-horizon, in excess of 60 nautical miles (110 km)
  • Speed: High Subsonic, around 850 km/h
  • Guidance: Sea-skimming cruise monitored by radar altimeter, active radar terminal homing.
  • Warhead: 488 lb (221 kg), penetration high-explosive blast
  • Unit Cost: US$720,000
  • Date Deployed: 1985

See also


Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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