Friday, May 13, 2016

Boeing backs extended-range Harpoon to stave off Kongsberg threat

The US Navy will wrap up developmental free flight testing of the datalink-equipped Boeing Harpoon Block II+ sea-skimming, anti-ship missile next week, ahead of fielding on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet sometime between June and August of 2017.
The latest variant of the 45-year-old Harpoon weapon type expands on the satellite-aided navigation system introduced in Block II by adding a datalink radio ported across from the C-1 variant of Raytheon's AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) for in-flight retargeting against enemy surface vessels in cluttered coastal regions.
The Harpoon missile successfully struck its first ship target during a test in December 1971, less than two years after McDonnell Douglas Astronautics of St Charles, Missouri received a contract from the Pentagon to develop the low-flying, radar-homing cruise missile.  more