Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile
First deployed in 1977, the RGM-84 Harpoon is an all-weather anti-ship missile developed for fleet-wide use. Harpoon is 15 feet in length and propelled by a turbojet motor burning aircraft fuel generating 660lbs. of thrust. Armed with a target-penetrating steel capsule containing 215lbs. of high explosive, the warhead is designed to explode only after the missile has penetrated its target. Each Harpoon missile is deployed in its own "All-Up-Round" (AUR) canister, or blast resistant, armored ceramic launch tube. Each canister is mounted at a fixed firing angle on a quadruple launcher.
Due to the terrific shock effects which occurred when after the 16" guns were fired, New Jersey carried its Harpoon missiles as far away from the large guns as possible. The Battleship's four launchers are arrayed two to each side of the second stack, each with four canisters, for a total of sixteen Harpoon missiles.
Designed to engage and sink enemy warships in an open-ocean environment, initial targeting data is supplied from other ships or aircraft in the area. Data can also come directly from New Jersey's SH-2F Seasprite helicopter or the AN/SPS-10 Surface Search Radar.
Once target identification and location has been determined, the data is entered in New Jersey's Combat
Engagement Center (CEC), and a search and attack plan is sent directly to the missiles to be launched. Once fired. Harpoon exits its canister using a disposable solid-fuel rocket booster to propel it rapidly to cruise speed. The missile's motor then engages and maintains a cruising speed of 663mph.
A "fire and forget" weapon, New Jersey did not have to provide missile mid-course guidance. After firing, Harpoon independently searches out its target, turning on its nose mounted active radar in a grid search. Once the target is located, Harpoon approaches in a pre-programmed terminal attack flight. The missile hits the target either through a steep "pop-up" terminal climb and diving attack, or a sea-skimming direct approach.
( photo captions )
- Cruising off Hawaii, New Jersey launches one of her sixteen RGM-84A "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles in March, 1984. Harpoon has a range of up to 85 miles.
- RGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile
Warhead 215lb. High-explosive warhead
Range Up to 85 nautical miles (98 statute miles)
Guidance Active radar or Infra-Red Homing
Speed .87 Mach (663 mph at sea level)
Wing Span 3'
Length 17' 2"
Weight 1832lbs. (including the 362lbs Booster rocket)
Engine Launch: Solid Propellant Booster