Harpoon Block III
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The Harpoon is an all weather, subsonic, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launch from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. The Harpoon Block II is the latest version of the Harpoon missile and is able to strike land-based targets and ships in littoral environments. The Block II incorporated the GPS/INS guidance system of the JDAM bombs and the mission computer, software, and GPS antenna employed by the SLAM ER missile.
The Harpoon Block III is the next generation of Harpoon anti-ship missile introducing a new data-link system that will allow flex-targeting and improved accuracy against open-ocean and littoral targets. Flex-targeting translates into in-flight target updates, positive terminal control and connectivity with future network architectures. The new missile is expected to pave the way for extended range and vertical launch capabilities. In late January 2008, the US Navy awarded Boeing a $73 million contract for the Harpoon Block III system design and development (SDD). The surface-launched Block III missile is expected to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in early 2011 with the air-launched version expected to follow by the end of the same year. The US Navy plans call for retrofitting 850 Harpoon missiles with the Harpoon Block III upgrade kit.
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