The AGM-84D Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness.
The AGM-84D Harpoon was adapted for use on B-52H bombers, which can carry eight missiles externally on pylons. External carriage of AGM-84s allows the B-52 to additionally upload U.S. Navy sea mines internally in the bomb bay providing the theater commander a long-range, rapid response platform for sea control and area denial. The B-52 armed with Harpoons and mines offers the warfighter complete sea control.
History and Background Info
Originally developed for the U.S. Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleet-wide use, the AGM-84D Harpoon also has been adapted for use on Air Combat Command's B-52H bombers.
At the direction of Headquarters Strategic Air Command, the Harpoon Air Command and Launch Control Set was fully integrated into an operational B-52G from Mather Air Force Base, Calif., in March 1983. Three successful live launches at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, Calif., led to the modification of a total of 30 B-52G's with Harpoon launch control equipment, enough to provide two squadrons of Harpoon-capable B-52G's by June 30, 1985. The 42nd Bombardment Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, and the 43rd Bombardment Wing, Andersen AB, Guam, were first tasked to perform the Harpoon mission. Both wings refined tactics and doctrine to merge the long-range, heavy-payload capability of the B-52 with the proven reliability of this superior stand-off attack weapon.
In May 1994, after Loring AFB closed and after the retirement of the last B-52G at Castle AFB, Calif., the Harpoon mission was moved to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La. Four B-52H models were rapidly modified (as an interim measure) to accept Harpoon launch control equipment pending B-52H fleet modification. This modification has since been replaced by the conventional enhancement modification to the B-52. This modification incorporates new aircraft wiring and LRUs in addition to new wiring and line replacement units to the external suspension and release equipment. All CEM B-52s are Harpoon capable, providing both the 2nd Bomb Wing and the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., full squadron strength capability.
Primary Function: Air-to-surface anti-ship missile
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas
Power Plant: Teledyne Turbojet
Thrust: 660 pounds
Length: 12 feet, 7 inches (3.79 meters)
Weight: 1,145 pounds (515.25 kilograms)
Diameter: 13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)
Wingspan: 3 feet (91.44 centimeters)
Range: Over the horizon
Speed: High subsonic
Guidance System: Sea-skimming cruise monitored by radar altimeter, active radar terminal homing
Warheads: Penetration high explosive blast (488 pounds)
Unit Cost: Not available
Date Deployed: 1985
Point of Contact
Air Combat Command, Public Affairs Office; 115 Thompson St., Ste. 211; Langley AFB, Va. 23665-1987; DSN 574-5014 or (757) 764-5014; e-mail: [email protected]