AGM-84D Harpoon Missile

AGM-84 Harpoon missile being launched at seaThe McDonnell Douglas AGM-84D Harpoon was originally developed for the U.S. Navy, but in 1983 was adapted for use on B-52H bombers. The Harpoon, first deployed in 1985, is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. It has a low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and is designed like a warhead.

The Harpoon missile is the world's most successful anti-ship missile and is in service with the armed forces of 27 countries. It has been upgraded over the years and is now available as the Harpoon Block II. It also led to the development of the Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM) and subsequently the SLAM Expanded Response (SLAM-ER).

Harpoon Block II incorporates key guidance technologies from two other Boeing weapons programs -- the low-cost, integrated Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) from the Joint Direct Attack Munition and the software, mission computer and the GPS antenna and receiver from the SLAM-ER. Boeing has delivered over 7,000 Harpoon missiles.

McDonnell engines also powered the Talos, an anti-aircraft guided missile, in the early 1950s. The Talos was primarily a surface-to-air Navy missile that also could be used effectively against ships and shore targets. It had a solid-fuel booster that fired for a few seconds and a ramjet engine as the sustainer motor. Talos had a range of more than 65 miles and could reach extremely high altitudes. It could carry a conventional or nuclear warhead.

Thirty feet long and 30 inches in diameter, it weighed 7,000 pounds with the booster. The first firing at White Sands, N.M., was in 1951. The first firing of Talos at sea was in February 1959 from the USS Galveston.

Harpoon home page

First flight: Dec. 20, 1972
Diameter: 13.5 inches
Length: Ship launch: 15 feet 2 inches; air launch: 12 feet 7.5 inches
Range: In excess of 67 nautical miles
Weight: 1,160 pounds air-launched configuration
Power plant: Air-breathing turbojet engine (cruise), solid-propellant booster