Harpoon missiles ordered for Indian submarines

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

30 September 2016
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Boeing a USD81.27 million contract to supply the Indian Navy (IN) with 22 Harpoon submarine launched anti-ship missiles via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.

The overall package is worth USD200 million and includes 12 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II Encapsulated missiles and 10 UTM-84L Harpoon Encapsulated training missiles. Also included are two Encapsulated Harpoon certification training vehicles, containers, spares, as well as all-inclusive logistics support and instruction for IN personnel on the missile system. The missile systems will be delivered by 2018, the DoD notification stated.

The awarding of the contract on 23 September finalises a deal struck in July 2014 to fit the missiles as part of the midlife upgrade of the IN’s two Shishumar-class (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft Type 209/1500) diesel electric submarines.

Original post


UGM-84L Harpoon Block II


The AGM/RGM/UGM-84 Harpoon is an all- weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system.

AGM = aircraft launched / RGM = ship launched / UGM = submarine launched

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system, developed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security). In 2004, Boeing delivered the 7,000th Harpoon unit since the weapon’s introduction in 1977. The missile system has also been further developed into a land-strike weapon, the Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM).

The regular Harpoon uses active radar homing, and a low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory to improve survivability and lethality. The missile’s launch platforms include:

Fixed-wing aircraft (the AGM-84, without the solid-fuel rocket booster)
Surface ships (the RGM-84, fitted with a solid-fuel rocket booster that detaches when expended, to allow the missile’s main turbojet to maintain flight)
Submarines (the UGM-84, fitted with a solid-fuel rocket booster and encapsulated in a container to enable submerged launch through a torpedo tube);
Coastal defense batteries, from which it would be fired with a solid-fuel rocket booster.

Harpoon Block II:
In production at Boeing facilities in Saint Charles, Missouri, is the Harpoon Block II, intended to offer an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting. Specifically, the Harpoon was initially designed as an open-ocean weapon. The Block II missiles continue progress begun with Block IE, and the Block II missile provides the Harpoon with a littoral-water anti-ship capability.

The key improvements of the Harpoon Block II are obtained by incorporating the inertial measurement unit from the Joint Direct Attack Munition program, and the software, computer, Global Positioning System (GPS)/inertial navigation system and GPS antenna/receiver from the SLAM Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), an upgrade to the SLAM.

The US Navy awarded a $120 million contract to Boeing in July 2011 for the production of about 60 Block II Harpoon missiles, including missiles for 6 foreign militaries. Boeing lists 30 foreign navies as Block II customers.

India acquired 24 Harpoon Block II missiles to arm its maritime strike Jaguar fighters in a deal worth $170 million through the Foreign Military Sales system. In December 2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified U.S. Congress of a possible sale of 21 additional AGM-84L HARPOON Block II Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $200 million; the Indian government intends to use these missiles on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft. Indian Navy is also planning to upgrade the fleet of four submarines – Shishumar class submarine – with tube-launched Harpoon missiles.

On 18 November 2015, the U.S. Navy tested the AGM-84N Harpoon Block II+ missile against a moving ship target. The Block II+ incorporates an improved GPS guidance kit and a net-enabled data-link that allows the missile to receive in-flight targeting updates. The Block II+ is planned to enter service in 2017.


US Air Force, US Navy
Australia (Navy, Air Force) / Belgium (Navy) / Brazil (Air Force) / Canada (Navy, Air Force) / Chile (Navy, Air Force) / Denmark (Navy) / Egypt (Navy, Air Force) / Germany (Navy) / Greece (Navy) / Israel (Navy, Air Force) / India (Navy, Air Force) / Japan (Navy) / Republic of Korea (Navy, Air Force) / Malaysia (Air Force) / Mexico (Navy) / Netherlands (Navy) / Pakistan (Navy) / Poland (Navy) / Portugal (Navy) / Saudi Arabia (Navy) / Singapore (Navy, Air Force) / Spain (Navy, Air Force) / Taiwan (Navy, Air Force) / Thailand (Navy) / Turkey (Navy, Air Force) / United Kingdom (Navy)

General characteristics:

Primary function: Air-, surface-, or submarine-launched anti-surface (anti-ship) missile
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing)
Power plant: Teledyne CAE J402 turbojet, 660 lb (300 kg)-force (2.9 kN) thrust, and a solid-propellant booster for surface and submarine launches
Length: Air-launched: 3.8 metres (12 ft) / Surface and submarine-launched: 4.6 metres (15 ft)
Weight: Air-launched: 519 kilograms (1,144 lb) / Submarine or ship launched from box or canister launcher: 628 kilograms (1,385 lb)
Diameter: 340 millimetres (13 in)
Wing span: 914 millimetres (36.0 in)
Maximum altitude: 910 metres (2,990 ft) with booster fins and wings

Over-the-horizon (approx 50 nautical miles)
AGM-84D (Block 1C): 220 km (120 nmi)
RGM/UGM-84D (Block 1C): 140 km (75 nmi)
AGM-84E (Block 1E): 93 km (50 nmi)
AGM-84F (Block 1D): 315 km (170 nmi)
RGM-84F (Block 1D): 278 km (150 nmi).
RGM/AGM-84L (Block 2): 278 km (150 nmi)
AGM-84H/K (Block 1G / Block 1J): 280 km (150 nmi)
Speed: High subsonic, around 850 km/h (460 knots, 240 m/s, or 530 mph)
Guidance: Sea-skimming cruise monitored by radar altimeter, active radar terminal homing
Warhead: 221 kilograms (487 lb), penetration high-explosive blast
Unit cost: US$1,527,416


Shishumar class Patrol submarine


In December 1981 the Indian government reached an agreement with Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, a German organization based in Kiel, for a four-section contract covering four conventional submarines of the Type 1500 variant of the very successful boats of the U-206 class. The four-part contract covered the construction in Germany of an initial pair of submarines of the Shishumar class, packages of equipment and components for the building of another two boats by the Mazagon Dock Ltd. of Mumbai (Bombay), the training of specialized design and construction personnel employed by Mazagon, and the provision of logistical support and consultation services during the manufacture and early service of the boats. In 1984 it was announced that another two boats would be built at Mazagon, giving the Indian navy a total of six Shishumar-class submarines, but this scheme was overtaken in the later part of the decade by changes in the thinking of the Indian navy, and in 1988 it was revealed that the arrangement with Howaldtswerke would end with the completion of the fourth boat.

   The decision was reviewed 1992 and 1997, and in 1999 the Indian navy decided to move ahead with its Project 75 for the Indian construction of three submarines of the French Scorpene class design.

   The four Shishumar boats are the Shishumar, Shankush, Shalki and Shankul. Built in Germany the first two  boats were laid down in May and September 1982 for launching in December and May 1984 and completion in September and November 1986, while the last two boats, built in India, were laid down in June 1984 and September 1989 for launching in September 1989 and March 1992 and completion in February 1992 and May 1994.


U-206 class – Image

   The submarines are basically conventional with a single central bulkhead, their most notable operational features being the provision of an IKL-designed escape system. This latter comprises an integrated escape sphere able to accommodate the entire 40-man crew. This sphere can withstand the same pressure as the hull, has its own eight-hour air supply, and is outfitted for short term survival and communications.

   The eight torpedo tubes are all grouped in the bows, and provision is made for the embarkation of six reload torpedoes. The standard weapon for these tubes is an German torpedo, the AEG SUT, which is a wire-guided weapon with active/passive onboard terminal guidance. The weapon carries a 250-kt (551-lb) HE warhead, and its two primary capabilities in terms of range and speed are 28 km (17.4 miles) at 23 kts and 12 km (7.5 miles) at 35 kts. The fifth and sixth boats were to have been completed with provision for the carriage and firing of anti-ship missiles, but the existing boats lack this facility. They do have, however, provision for the addition of external strap-on carriers.

   The Shishumar started a mid-life refit in 1999, with the other boats following in order of completion, and improvements that may be retrofitted are French Eledone sonar and an Indian action data system.

Entered service 1986
Crew 40 men
Diving depth (operational) 260 m
Dimensions and displacement
Length 64.4 m
Beam 6.5 m
Draught 6 m
Surfaced displacement 1 660 tons
Submerged displacement 1 850 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 11 knots
Submerged speed 22 knots
Diesel engines 4 x 2 415 hp
Electric motors 1 x 4 600 hp
Torpedoes 8 x 533-mm for 14 torpedoes
Mines ground mines in place of the torpedoes


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