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Question about Harpoon RGM-84A and AGM-84A

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    Question about Harpoon RGM-84A and AGM-84A

    Here is a brief overview of early versions of Harpoon

    The next U.S. Navy variant was the Harpoon Block 1B, designated AGM-84C, RGM-84C and UGM-84C. The Block 1B missiles were first delivered to the Navy in June 1982. The xGM-84C flies at the same lower cruise altitude as the UGM-84B, and does no pop-up manoeuver, flying a sea-skimming attack profile instead. The Block 1B training missiles are the ATM-84C, RTM-84C and UTM-84C.

    . Block 1 used a terminal attack mode that included a pop-up to approximately 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) before diving on the target;
    Block 1B omitted the terminal pop-up;
    and Block 1C provided a selectable terminal attack mode

    Based on this information does it mean that the AGM-84 and UGM-84 can be used to attack ships anchored in naval bases as well ?
    Will having a sea skimming profile interfere with attacking ships that are in protected harbors ?
    Or is terminal pop up designed to attack land targets and naval ships in harbor ?


    Terminal pop up profiles are primarily intended to complicate the ship's defence solution. If you combine straight in sea slimming and pop ups, the target ship's CIWS will be more easily overwhelmed.


      so can this tactic be used to attack ships in harbor as well ? or in naval bases

      how will the harpoon work if lets says the target is a destroyer but it is in harbor surrounded by other ships , will the harpoon be able to home in on its intended target ? I'm referring to 80s versions of Harpoon


        One of the Batch III T22s declared herself winner at a Portland Weekly War without ever putting to sea.

        She broadcast that since Harpoon has a 100-mile range, everyone else was in range and she'd won.

        Since most other NATO members had fielded Harpoon on their ships for years (and had attended many Weekly Wars without doing the same) by this point and it was only the RN who were playing catch-up it didn't go down too well with everyone who wasn't in The Andrew.

        In answer to OP: Block II definitely can; given the (amount of) marketing which went with that capability, that SUGGESTs that Block I couldn't.
        Last edited by Al.; 14th May 2018, 17:52.
        Rule zero: don't be on fire


          Thanks , makes sense from the same website I listed above

          As early as 1996, McDonnell Douglas proposed the "Harpoon 2000" improvement, later evolving into the Harpoon Block II. Suggested Block II features included a GPS-aided INS, a radar seeker with improved ECCM and some SLAM hardware. The GPS/INS guidance would allow much higher precision in attacks on shore-based targets. The "Harpoon 2000"/Block II proposal was apparently not too well received by the U.S. Navy, and no development order came forward. However, Block II was developed for export as AGM/RGM-84L, q.v.. In February 2008, the designations AGM-84J and RGM-84J were retroactively allocated to Block II conversions based on the AGM-84D.


            On the subject, what was the US Navy's primary Anti-Ship weapon prior to widespread Harpoon adoption in the 80s?


              Air-launched (guided) bombs and such.
              Also, Terrier had an anti-ship mode from late 1950s, and Tartar missiles had one from the get-go. (however useless those were against a soviet task force)


                That seems like a pretty big gap to have until so late in the Cold War, always found it weird.


                  Different doctrines really:

                  US and UK saw submarines and air airms as the principal offensive arms of the fleet (even when the RN's air arm was to put it kindly a shadow of its former self)

                  I would guess that the honest answer to your first question (certainly as far as skimmers were concerned) was: MCG and SAMs. The job of skimmers was no longer seen as being engaging the enemies surface targets (sorry 'combatants')

                  Harpoon came from a specific requirement for MPAs to be able to engage surfaced or snorkeling boats. McD then pointed out how easily it could be integrated (physically and with C3) on every other asset and 'poof' a new capability for US-aligned ships.

                  The French (inspired by a chap with a particular dislike of Les Anglos who even owned a yacht called 'Flying Fish' which he would steer at RN warships in Marc Overmars style scything runs) had a very different view. As of course did the USSR.

                  Part of me (the fairly small, non-cynical 'you've taken your eye off the ball there chaps' part) thinks that the reason for an AShM capability gap in USN and (in particular) RN is the ingrained belief that if you want to sink a ship rather than just engage her it is best done with a heavyweight torpedo.
                  Rule zero: don't be on fire


                    Yeah, doctrine definitely was different. US focused on protecting high ocean lanes and chokepoints. Basically, only soviet ocean going ships were its concern. And out of those, good deal of them were ASW with no long range anti-ship missile. And those were few in numbers in 1960s. Subs were carrying most of the anti ship missiles for Soviets. Initiative to create harpoon, going after those surfaced subs was started in late 1960s. But it took a bit longer than thought to actually get a missile in service, a whole decade. In 1979 Harpoon production rate was 20 missiles per month. So one could say that from 1980 onward USN had a meaningful inventory of them for their surface ships. (and some for their aircraft. air launched variant became operational 2 years after ship launched one, first to be integrated on ASW planes.)

                    In 1970 soviet navy had:
                    5 modified kashin destroyers with P-15
                    4 Kynda cruisers with p-5
                    4 Kresta cruisers with p-5

                    Compared to that, ocean going subs with missiles in 1970:
                    34 Echo class with p-5
                    6 Whiskey with p-5
                    16 Julliet with p-5
                    6 Charlie with p70 (first class to be able to fire missiles underwater?)
                    1 Papa with p70

                    (most of p-5 were already modernized variants by 1970)

                    So one can see how USN saw little threat from soviet surface navy in 1960s and even good part of 1970s. It was soviet submarines that were by far the bigger threat, and they wanted the harpoon progenitor to go after those surfaced subs, readying to fire their missiles or at least engaging them after they fired theirs. Of course, by 1980s soviet surface fleet also grew in numbers and greater number of soviet subs could fire their missiles underwater so harpoon really became an anti-ship missile.


                      ^ excellent thanks for sharing the summary

                      Why do you think soviets opted for more surface platforms for ASUW in the 70s and 80s ?

                      I always think that their submarines which can launch AShM while submerged e.g charlie classes should have been built in larger numbers as even though their missiles were short ranged they outranged the ASROC