The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded Boeing a $220 million contract to configure Taiwan’s Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS).
According to the Department of Defense, the system includes Harpoon Block II Update Grade B Canister Launch All Up Round Missiles, the HCDS launch system, and Harpoon weapon station test and production equipment. The work will be carried out within and outside the US and is expected to be complete by July 2023.
$2.4 Billion Harpoon Sale
The development comes a year after the US government approved the $2.4 billion sale of 100 HCDS to Taipei, which included 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles with a maximum range of 75 miles (125 kilometers), four RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles, 411 containers, 25 radar trucks, spare parts, and support and test equipment.Same Fear, Different Year
The approval came within a week of the Trump administration announcing a $1.8 billion deal with the island territory that included, “11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) M142 Launchers, 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets.”
Harpoon Block II
According to the US Navy, the Harpoon’s “active radar guidance, low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, terminal mode sea-skim or pop-up maneuvers and warhead design, assure high survivability and effectiveness.” First deployed in 1977 with the navy, the missile was later adapted for B-52H bombers.
The missile’s latest iteration, the Harpoon Block II, uses a 500-pound warhead for sea and land-based targets such as “coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, port/industrial facilities and ships in port.”
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Featured image: A Harpoon missile is launched from the USS Shiloh, September 15, 2014. Image: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham
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