Inside the impressive capabilities of the US Harpoon anti-ship missile

For over 40 years, the American-made Harpoon missile has been one of the most powerful anti-ship weapons in naval warfare. Originally developed by McDonnell Douglas, this versatile missile has become a mainstay in the arsenals of over 30 international militaries.

So what makes the Harpoon such a formidable naval weapon?

For starters, its speed. Travelling at a blistering 0.7 Mach, the Harpoon is incredibly fast once fired from ships, submarines, or aircraft. This gives enemy ships little time to react or deploy countermeasures once the missile is in flight.

The Harpoon also has tremendous range, being able to hit targets over 70 miles away. This allows it to be launched from beyond visual range, giving the enemy little advanced warning. Even over such distances, the Harpoon retains deadly accuracy through its sea-skimming cruise trajectory and state-of-the-art navigation systems.

Adding to its potency is the Harpoon’s substantial 488-pound warhead. This huge high-explosive blast is capable of inflicting catastrophic damage on everything from small attack boats to full-sized cruisers. On impact, the warhead detonates inside the target vessel, breaking its back and quickly sending it to the bottom.

With its menacing combination of speed, range, accuracy and destructive power, the Harpoon missile remains a prized weapon for dominating the seas. It provides naval forces with an unparalleled offensive punch against hostile ships. After decades of service, the mighty Harpoon continues to prove itself as an apex predator in anti-ship warfare.


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