The Indian Air Force launched an anti-ship Harpoon missile for the first time in the Arabian Sea last week, Hindustan Times reported today.
The Harpoon, with a range of 124km, is capable of land-strike missions too. The missile was launched on May 22 from a Jaguar maritime strike fighter that flew 200 nautical miles off the west coast to carry out the mission. The Jaguar was refueled midair during the mission.
It was the “first live firing” of the Harpoon from a warplane in India after integration by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, an official said.
The navy tested the Harpoon last year when a Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft launched the subsonic missile to carry out ‘target’ in the Bay of Bengal.
India has bought a package of 24 Harpoon Block II missiles for its navy and another 22 for the IAF.
India is also looking at arming its Shishumar class submarines with the all-weather Harpoon missiles, operated by more than 30 countries.
The Pentagon notified the US Congress last year about its decision to sell 24 Harpoon missiles worth $200 million to the Indian Navy for the submarines.
Harpoon is an anti-ship missile manufactured by Boeing Defence, Space & Security. It is capable of performing land-strike and anti-ship missions.
The all-weather missile can engage a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and naval ships anchored in ports.