firings by the RAN of Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles took place in June at
the US Sea Test Range at Naval Air Station Point Magu west of Los Angeles, a
Defence spokeswoman has confirmed to ADM.
The first missile was launched by the Anzac class frigate HMAS Perth against a land-based target on 7 June and a second missile was fired on 9 June against a target moored very close to the beach.
Both missiles hit their mark and proved the RAN’s ability to conduct long range attacks with Harpoon against coastal land targets or ships in close proximity to the coastline, the spokeswoman said.
The decision to enhance the precision of the RAN’s Harpoon Block I missiles with Block II technology was announced by then-Defence Minister Robert Hill in February 2004.
The upgrades, involving GPS-aided inertial navigation kits, have been carried out at the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills on the outskirts of Sydney.
Harpoon equips the RAN’s eight Anzac class vessels, four Adelaide class FFG guided missile frigates, and six Collins class submarines in addition to the RAAF’s F/A-18 fighters and AP-3C maritime patrol aircraft.
The Block II missile is deployable with existing launch and command equipment.
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