The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) announced on 23 July it had successfully test-fired one of its recently acquired ATM-84J Harpoon missile from P-8A Poseidon aircraft during Exercise RIMPAC 18.
According to the RAAF’sstatement, ATM-84J Harpoon missile was launched from the aircraft at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, off the coast of Hawaii.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the Harpoon is integral to the P-8A reaching full operational capability.
“The successful launch of the Harpoon requires a significant effort from a range of specialist personnel,” Minister Payne said.
The Harpoon was released within the Pacific Missile Range Facility and successfully struck its target, the former USS Racine, a decommissioned US Naval ship.
“The men and women of the RAAF’s 92 Wing should be proud to have achieved this key step in the realisation of this important capability for Australia,” Minister Payne said.
“Our partnership with the United States Navy has allowed us access to the Range Facility, a long standing agreement which has seen the successful testing of many Australian Defence Force weapons systems across both Air Force and Navy.”
Exercise RIMPAC 18 is the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, with 25 nations participating.
The Harpoon missile is the world’s most successful anti-ship missile and is in service with the armed forces of more than 30 countries. It has been upgraded over the years and is now available as the Harpoon Block II. It also led to the development of the standoff land attack missile (SLAM) and subsequently the SLAM expanded response (SLAM-ER).
The Harpoon is capable of executing both land-strike and anti-ship missions. To strike targets on land and ships in port, the missile uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit a designated target aimpoint.
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#AusAirForce P-8A Poseidon aircraft has successfully fired its first ATM-84J Harpoon missile off the coast of #Hawaii during @RimofthePacific 2018. One step closer to final operating capability! Read more here: https://t.co/TvHp9k4kNC#RIMPAC2018 #StrikeandReconnaissance pic.twitter.com/2DJRs7uJrt
— RAAF – Aus_AirForce (@Aus_AirForce) 23 July 2018