British Harpoon has two more years to go

British Harpoon has two more years to go 13 November, 2016

The United Kingdom will withdraw the GWS60/Harpoon Block 1C anti-ship missile from Royal Navy (RN) service at the end of 2018 without replacement. Retirement of such missile will leave RN warships without a heavyweight surface-to-surface guided weapon as UK has no funded programme for a Harpoon replacement. The system currently equips all 13 Type 23 frigates, plus three out of the RN's six Type 45 destroyers.

The lack of Harpoon (heavyweight surface-to-surface guided weapon / SSGW), will open up a gap in over-the-horizon anti-surface warfare capability. UK will also retire the helicopter-launched Sea Skua missile at the end of March 2017.  The RN will suffer from the lack of any anti-surface guided weapon for about two years until Sea Venom/ANL lightweight anti-ship missile is introduced on the Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter in late 2020.

Harpoon Block 1C is a turbojet-powered sea-skimming missile that is autonomous from launch. Cruising at a speed of Mach 0.9, and credited with a maximum range of about 130 km.


Issue 86