AGM-84 Harpoon or Exocet a Delayed Discussion

AGM-84 Harpoon or Exocet a Delayed Discussion 9 September, 2020

Greek publication discuss how Hellenic Air Force lost a probable operational advantage in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Libyan Sea against Turkey. The publication discusses probable outcomes if wrong decisions had not been taken many years ago.

In April 1993, Greece signed the Peace Xenia II contract for the purchase of 40 new F-16C / D Block 50 fighters, deliveries of which began in January 1997. The aircraft could use air-launched AGM-84F Harpoon Block 1D anti-ship missile. The anti-ship missile gave the fighter the ability to neutralize large surface vessels from a safe distance due to the 221 kg warhead, but also the long-range of the missile that reached 240 km. Hellenic Air Force did not feel the need to reach that such distance.

The Air Force planned to equip its Mirage 2000EGM / BGM with its AM-39 Block II Exocet anti-ship missiles. These missiles were received in the period 1998-2003 and their maximum range is between 50-70 kilometres and their warhead reaches 165 kg.

According to the reasoning of that time, the Mirage 2000EGM / BGM would undertake, among other things, naval strike missions, so there was no reason to equip the F-16C / D Block 50 with an anti-ship missile, which the US at that time might have do not release.

With this decision, the Greek Air Force was divided into two capacities and Greece abandoned the possibility of acquiring a naval strike from the F-16C / D Block 50.


The low availability of Mirage 2000EGM / BGM due to the financial crisis The Greek Air Force has anti-ship missiles but not enough aircraft.

So the discussion is if the Air Force in previous years had decided to buy even a small number of AGM-84D Harpoon Block 1D missiles to equip the F-16C / D Block 50, Greece would now have an alternative in the field of the naval strike and could pose a measurable, real and operationally readily available threat to the Turkish Fleet.

AGM-84 Harpoon or Exocet a Delayed Discussion

Issue 86