Boeing has begun work to return the Harpoon cruise missile to operational status in the U.S. Navy’s submarine force after a more than 20-year absence.
Boeing received an $10.9 million Naval Sea Systems Command contract late last month to refurbish 16 Harpoon missile capsules and four all-up rounds of encapsulated Block 1C Harpoon missiles for the Navy’s submarines. Work is scheduled for completion by December 2022.
The UGM-84A Harpoon Block 1C missiles will be integrated on the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines. The UGM-84A is encapsulated to be fired from a torpedo tube and has a rocket booster to propel it above the surface of the water and into flight.
“I am happy to report that we will have the first refurbished [Harpoon] missiles delivered to the fleet in [fiscal] ‘21,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ishee, director of undersea warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, speaking Nov. 7 at the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium in Arlington.
In a demonstration in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific exercise, a Harpoon was fired from the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Olympia at a target ship, the first time one was fired from a U.S. Navy submarine since the UGM-84A Harpoons were withdrawn from the force in 1997.
The UGM-84A is encapsulated to be fired from a torpedo tube and has a rocket booster to propel it above the surface of the water and into flight.
“The Navy has a deep inventory of Harpoon Block IC missiles,” said Sally Seibert, director, Cruise Missile Systems at Boeing, in a statement. “These missiles can be refurbished and reintegrated into the fleet in a shorter timeframe, and at a fraction of the cost, compared to purchasing new missiles — and that is exactly what our team is doing.”