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RGM-84 Harpoon: Specifications, Buyers & Recent Use In Battlefield

RGM-84 Harpoon: Specifications, Buyers & Recent Use In Battlefield, Transatlantic Today

Washington DC (Transatlantic Today) — The RGM-84 Harpoon is one of the most iconic weapons in the United States military arsenal. Nicknamed the “Harpoon,” the missile is a long-range precision-strike missile that was first deployed in the early 1980s. The Harpoon uses active radar homing and is a key part of the American arsenal. It has been used in multiple conflicts, including the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq. The Harpoon is also used by NATO allies. The missile has a versatile payload that can be used for a wide variety of missions, including anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and ground attacks.


  • Mass: 1,523 lb (691 kg) including booster
  • Length: 12.6 ft (3.8 m), air-launched; 15 ft (4.6 m), surface- and submarine-launched
  • Diameter: 13.5 in (34 cm)
  • Warhead: 488 pounds (221 kg)
  • Detonation mechanism: Impact fuze
  • Flight altitude: Sea-skimming
  • Maximum speed: 537 mph (864 km/h; 240 m/s; Mach 0.71), ship-launched Harpoon Block I & air-launched Harpoon Block IC; Greater than 537 mph (864 km/h; 240 m/s; Mach 0.71), ship-launched Harpoon Block IC & Block II
  • Launch platform: RGM-84A surface-launched, AGM-84A air-launched, UGM-84A submarine-launched


RGM-84 Harpoon is being operated by many countries in the world. The buyers of this missile include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, China, Turkey, Ukraine and more.

Recent Use In Battlefield

In June 2009, an American newspaper reported, that the American government had accused Pakistan of using land based Harpoon missiles in a new way to strike land targets. Pakistani officials refuted this claim and argued that they were referring to a new Pakistani-designed missile.

Hewson explained that the Harpoon is not suitable for the land-attack role as it has a very limited range. He added that Pakistan already had access to more sophisticated missiles of their own or Chinese design. They don’t need of copying foreign weaponry.

He shared that the missile tested by Pakistan was part of an effort to match India’s arsenal. The armed projectiles are capable of being launched from both air and surface ships compartments. It was then reported that the issue had been settled through an agreement between the US administration and Pakistan. This is when the US personnel were allowed to inspect Pakistani torpedo tubes Harpoon missiles.

Several foreign countries have also chosen the Harpoon missile as a preferred choice under Foreign Military Sales (FMS). In 2020, Boeing’s manufacturer won two major contracts for the supply of Harpoon missiles to Saudi Arabia and six other partner nations under a $3.1 billion deal. Under FMS, India also received Harpoon missiles worth $155 million.

In late May 2022, Denmark provided Ukraine with Harpoon launchers that have them enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures. These cruise missiles to support their ongoing conflict. The Netherlands followed soon after with additional missiles. The US subsequently announced that they would also supply Ukraine with these missile systems through their air force

While in the UK Defense Secretary announced their intention to provide similar assistance. On 17 June, Ukrainian Naval Command reported the successful interception of a Russian tugboat Spasatel Vasily Bekh by two Harpoon missiles. In a statement by the country’s Navy, it was revealed that the vessel had on board a Tor missile system for deployment to Snake Island.

In December 1988, a F/A-18 Hornet fighter launched a Harpoon missile from the aircraft carrier USS Constellation. It struck the Indian-owned merchant ship Jagvivek, a 250 ft (76 m) vessel. Despite a Notice to Mariners having been issued which warned of potential danger. Before the exercise near Kauai, Hawaii at the Pacific Missile Range, Jagvivek the missile strayed into the test range area. It was targeted by the Harpoon missile that was armed with an inert dummy warhead. As a result of this incident, one sailor was killed.


1. What Is The Combat Usage Of RGM-84 Harpoon?

In the early 1980s, the Harpoon saw its first combat usage during the Iran-Iraq War. The Harpoon was used to take out Iranian targets such as missile launchers and radar installations. The missile proved to be very successful, with over 80 percent of its targets being hit. In 1991, the Harpoon saw its second combat usage during the first Gulf War. The Harpoon was used to take out Iraqi tanks and other armored vehicles.

2. Is RGM-84 Harpoon An Advanced Missile?

The Harpoon is a highly advanced missile system. It is a solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch and destroy targets on land or at sea. The Harpoon is a single-stage missile that has a range of up to 200 kilometers. The Harpoon is equipped with a sophisticated guidance system that allows it to strike targets with accuracy.

3. Is RGM-84 Harpoon Worth An Investment?

The Harpoon is a powerful stand-alone attack missile that is well worth the investment. It is an essential part of the United States arsenal and can be used to defend against a wide range of threats. 

4. What Is RGM-84 Harpoon Capable Of?

The horizon anti-ship missile is a surface-to-surface missile that is designed to be fired from the T-55 tank. This missile has a range of up to seventy-five kilometers. It is capable of carrying a payload of up to one hundred and fifty kilograms. The missile is also capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

5. Is RGM-84 Harpoon Subject To Unauthorized Modification?

The Harpoon has been the subject of unauthorized modification. The sea skimming cruise trajectory of this missile is the most notable of this missile. It has the ability to fire anti-ship missiles. This unauthorized modification was first reported in 2013. The Harpoon is a long-range precision-guided weapon that is used primarily for anti-ship purposes.

Read More: BGM-109 Tomahawk: Specifications, Buyers & Recent Use In Battlefield 

6. Is RGM-84 Harpoon A Controversial Weapon?

The Harpoon block ii missile is a controversial weapon because it has been accused of causing civilian deaths. It is controversial because it is considered a weapon of war. The United States has refused to sell the Harpoon to countries such as China and Russia because of these issues.

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