Page 16

Frontiers February 2013 Issue

Harpoon missile facility in 1978. The first production Harpoons were shipped from St. Charles the next year. Since then, more than 7,300 Harpoons have been built there, including the latest version known as the Block II. The Harpoon has long been considered the world’s premier anti-ship missile and is built for the U.S. Navy and more than 30 international allies. Designed primarily to hit enemy warships at sea, more than 600 ships, 180 submarines, 12 different types of aircraft and even land-based launch vehicles carry Harpoon missiles. Boeing has also developed the missile system into the Standoff Land Attack Missile (Expanded Response), a weapon capable of attacking land-based targets with pinpoint accuracy, and which can even be reprogrammed after launch. In 2012, Boeing and the U.S. Navy reached an agreement to affordably produce more advanced versions of air-launched Harpoons, extending the life of the program for at least another decade. The Harpoon Block II+ will include a new GPS guidance kit to improve midcourse navigational accuracy. It can be carried on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and will be compatible with the company’s P-8A Poseidon, a modified 737 used for submarine hunting and maritime patrol missions by the U.S. Navy. “After four decades of successful cooperation with our Navy partners, Boeing continues to find innovative ways to incorpo-rate system upgrades to enhance Harpoon’s reach and interoperability,” said Jeff Ayers, director of Cruise Missile Systems. The St. Charles site consists of several buildings on 210 acres (85 hectares). The facility used for making JDAM kits is across the campus from the Harpoon facility. The tail kits affordably convert unguided bombs, or “dumb bombs,” into reliable, all-weather munitions that can precisely hit targets using GPS. These “smart bombs” not only are more effective but minimize collateral damage. Also built on the same line is the Small Diameter Bomb, a winged 250-pound (115- kilogram) guided bomb that allows aircraft to carry more weapons per station. Most U.S. Air Force aircraft will be able to carry a pack of four Small Diameter Bombs in place of a single 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) bomb by using the BRU-61 smart weapons carriage. To date, nearly 240,000 JDAM tail kits 16 BOEING FRONTIERS / FEBRUARY 2013


Frontiers February 2013 Issue
To see the actual publication please follow the link above