Bill LaPlante, the US Under Secretary of Defense, described how the Pentagon modified Harpoon anti-ship missiles to defend the Ukrainian coast.
He explained details about the modification of missile weapons at a conference organized by Defense News, according to DefenseOne.
The Harpoon missiles were removed from the ship by one of the US allies (which was not disclosed). Launchers were installed on the chassis of a truck. A power supply was placed on another truck. Wires connected the launch and power source.
“There’s incredible innovation going on right now, and we just don’t talk about it enough,” LaPlante said.
After the Americans were convinced that such a configuration would work, the system was delivered to Ukraine. The Ukrainian military held a training session at the end of May.
“And the next week, two Russian ships were sunk with these Harpoons,” the Under Secretary of Defense of the United States said.
Both cases played a key role in the victory of Ukraine in the battle for the Snake island and the control of the southwest part of the Black Sea.
In May 2022, Denmark announced its intention to transfer the Harpoon AShM to Ukraine. The Royal Danish Navy was one of the few operators of the coastal version of the Harpoon missile anti-ship system. According to open data, the Danish fleet, as part of coastal artillery, had two batteries of this system.
In June 2022, the United States announced that Ukraine would receive Harpoon onshore missile systems. We are talking about a new type of launcher, which is not in service with the United States itself. Onshore systems will be on a wheeled chassis. The new platform was created by the American defense industry, commissioned by the Pentagon.
The Harpoon is an anti-ship missile developed by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s. Its standard version uses active radar homing, it flies above the surface of the water to evade anti-aircraft weapons. The maximum range of use is 280 km.
There are modifications of aviation-based, for use with surface ships, submarines, as well as for coastal defense.
In further versions, the capabilities of the missile are expanded to defeat both surface and coastal targets. Harpoon uses GPS inertial navigation to engage objects on land and ships. The 227 kg warhead provides destruction of a wide range of targets.
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