Mission- The AGM-84D Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system produced by McDonnell Douglas. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness.


The AGM-84D Harpoon has been adapted for use on B-52H bombers, which can carry from eight to 12 missiles.

The Harpoon missile and its launch control equipment provide the warfighter capability to interdict ships at ranges well beyond those of other aircraft.


Originally developed for the U.S. Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleetwide 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 a fully operational B-52G from Mather AFB, 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-52Gs with Harpoon launch control equipment, enough to provide two squadrons of Harpoon-capable B-52Gs by June 30, 1985. The 42nd Bombardment Wing, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, and the 43rd Bombardment Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, 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.

After Loring AFB closed and 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. By 1997, all B-52H airframes will be Harpoon capable, providing both the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota, and the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale, full squadron strength capability.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Air-to-surface anti-ship missile

Contractor: McDonnell Douglas

Power Plant: Teledyne Turbojet

Thrust: 660 pounds (approximately 594 kilograms)

Length: 12 feet, 7 inches (3.79 meters)

Weight: 1,145 pounds (515.25 kilograms)

Diameter: 13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)

Wing Span: 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

Inventory: Classified



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