Harpoon Missiles Arrive in Ukraine

The Odessa, Ukraine Regional Military Authority said Sunday “So many Harpoon missiles have been handed over to us, we can sink the entire Russian Black Sea Fleet.”

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile developed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security). The AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM) and later AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER (Standoff Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response) are cruise missile variants.

The regular Harpoon uses active radar homing and flies just above the water to evade defenses. The missile can be launched from:

  • Fixed-wing aircraft (the AGM-84, without the solid-fuel rocket booster)
  • Surface ships (the RGM-84, fitted with a solid-fuel rocket booster that detaches when expended, to allow the missile’s main turbojet to maintain flight)
  • Submarines (the UGM-84, fitted with a solid-fuel rocket booster and encapsulated in a container to enable submerged launch through a torpedo tube);
  • Coastal defense batteries, from which it would be fired with a solid-fuel rocket booster.

It has not (yet) been revealed which type of Harpoon missiles have been sent to Ukraine and there is GIGANTIC RISK for NATO countries depending upon the type of Harpoon sent.  You see, at least one of the Harpoon variants has the ability to use net-enabled networking for in-flight target updating.

That updating would have to come from a NATO ship or aircraft as the missiles flew, once launched by Ukraine.

If a NATO ship or aircraft provided in-flight target updating, that would constitute active participation in the war, and would be an “act of war” against Russia.

Here are the various types of Harpoon Missile:

Harpoon Block 1D

This version featured a larger fuel tank and re-attack capability, but was not produced in large numbers because its intended mission (warfare with the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe) was considered to be unlikely following the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Range is 278 kilometers (173 mi). Block 1D missiles were designated RGM/AGM-84F.

SLAM ATA (Block 1G)

This version, under development, gives the SLAM a re-attack capability, as well as an image comparison capability similar to the Tomahawk cruise missile; that is, the weapon can compare the target scene in front of it with an image stored in its onboard computer during terminal phase target acquisition and lock on (this is known as DSMAC). Block 1G missiles AGM/RGM/UGM-84G; the original SLAM-ER missiles were designated AGM-84H (2000-2002) and later ones the AGM-84K (2002 onwards).

Harpoon Block 1J

Block 1J was a proposal for a further upgrade, AGM/RGM/UGM-84J Harpoon (or Harpoon 2000), for use against both ship and land targets.

Harpoon Block II

Loading Mk 141 canister launcher

In production at Boeing facilities in Saint Charles, Missouri, is the Harpoon Block II, intended to offer an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting. Specifically, the Harpoon was initially designed as an open-ocean weapon. The Block II missiles continue progress begun with Block IE, and the Block II missile provides the Harpoon with a littoral-water anti-ship capability.

The key improvements of the Harpoon Block II are obtained by incorporating the inertial measurement unit from the Joint Direct Attack Munition program, and the software, computer, Global Positioning System (GPS)/inertial navigation system and GPS antenna/receiver from the SLAM Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), an upgrade to the SLAM.

The US Navy awarded a $120 million contract to Boeing in July 2011 for the production of about 60 Block II Harpoon missiles, including missiles for 6 foreign militaries.

India acquired 24 Harpoon Block II missiles to arm its maritime strike Jaguar fighters in a deal worth $170 million through the Foreign Military Sales system. In December 2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified U.S. Congress of a possible sale of 21 additional AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $200 million; the Indian government intends to use these missiles on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft. The Indian Navy is also planning to upgrade the fleet of four submarines – Shishumar class – with tube-launched Harpoon missiles.

Harpoon Block II missiles are designated AGM/RGM/UGM-84L.

In early 2018, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of Harpoon Block II to the Mexican Navy for use on their future Sigma-class design frigates, the first of which is being built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding.

Harpoon Block II+

On 18 November 2015, the U.S. Navy tested the AGM-84N Harpoon Block II+ missile against a moving ship target. The Block II+ incorporates an improved GPS guidance kit and a net-enabled data-link that allows the missile to receive in-flight targeting updates. The Block II+ is planned to enter service in 2017.

The USN intends to deploy the Harpoon Block II+ in late FY2018[24] by upgrading its existing inventory of Harpoon IC missiles.

Harpoon Block III

Harpoon Block III was intended to be an upgrade package to the existing USN Block 1C missiles and Command Launch Systems (CLS) for guided missile cruisers, guided missile destroyers, and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. After experiencing an increase in the scope of required government ship integration, test and evaluation, and a delay in development of a data-link, the Harpoon Block III program was canceled by the U.S. Navy in April 2009.[citation needed]

Harpoon Block II+ ER

In April 2015, Boeing unveiled a modified version of the RGM-84 it called the Harpoon Next Generation. It increases the ship-launched Harpoon missile’s range from the Block II’s 70 nmi (81 mi; 130 km) to 167.5 nmi (192.8 mi; 310.2 km), along with a new lighter 300 lb (140 kg) warhead and a more fuel-efficient engine with electronic fuel controls. Boeing offered the missile as the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship frigate upgrade over-the-horizon anti-ship missile as a cost-effective missile upgrade option; complete Next Gen Harpoons would cost approximately as much as a Block II at $1.2 million each, with upgrades for an existing missile costing half that. The version is also called the Harpoon Block II+ ER. Boeing claims the Block II+ ER is superior to the Naval Strike Missile through its improved turbojet giving it greater range and active radar-homing seeker for all-weather operation, as well as a lighter but “more lethal” warhead. Test shots in 2017 had been confirmed. In May 2017, Boeing revealed it was no longer offering the upgraded Harpoon for the frigate OTH missile requirement, but would continue development of it.

Radio frequencies used for the net-enabled, in-flight target updating for the Harpoon missile, ARE KNOWN to the Russians.  They can monitor those frequencies for in-flight target updates, and they WILL know if a NATO plane or ship participated in a missile strike upon a Russian Naval vessel.

 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths. But be self-controlled in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, and prove your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 Modern English Version)

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