Boeing Takes Harpoon Out Of LCS/Frigate Over-the- Horizon Missile Competition

May 2, 2017 5:01 PM - Updated: May 2, 2017 7:16 PM
An artist’s representation of a Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile. Boeing Image

Boeing is no longer offering an upgraded variant of its RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile as part of a competition to field an over-the-horizon anti-ship missile for the frigate and the Littoral Combat Ship, a company official told USNI News on Tuesday.

“We’ve really taken a hard look at what the requirements are that [Naval Sea System Command] has looked for in the request. We’ve kept up to speed on every [request for proposal] modification and with that the constant change in the top-level requirements every time they do a modified release,” Troy Rutherford, director of Boeing Cruise Missile Systems told USNI News on Tuesday.
“We don’t see that this solicitation isn’t the right place for us to make entrée into the surface Navy because of how it undervalues our overall capability.”

The company had initially pitched a version of the weapon that would add a new warhead and a reconstituted engine for a range of more than 130 nautical miles — up from the about 70 nautical mile range of the current Block II weapons — in a Harpoon Next Generation configuration.

Boeing leaving the competition leaves Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) and a Raytheon-Kongsberg partnership for the Naval Strike Missile as the two likely candidates for the OTH missile.

The NSM is in service in the Norwegian Navy while the LRASM – a modified version of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – was developed as part of an urgent operational need for U.S. Pacific Command for a modern air launched anti-ship cruise missile.

For its part, Boeing said it planned to continue to develop the modified version of the 40-year-old weapon.

“We see a market there for not only domestically but also for our international allies,” Rutherford said.
“We will double the current production program by the 2020s. With extended range we will production program well into the ‘30s.”

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Follow @samlagrone

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