Taiwan has requested to buy up to one hundred (100) Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) consisting of up to four hundred (400) RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles; and four (4) RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles. Also included are four hundred and eleven (411) containers, one hundred (100) Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launcher Transporter Units, twenty-five (25) radar trucks, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated program cost is $2.37 billion.
The principal contractor will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Taiwan already field its indigenous Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles from both coastal batteries and surface ships. The missile has a range of about 220 nautical miles. Fielding two types of anti-ship missiles to cover the Taiwan strait could make any amphibious assault by China more difficult. RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II has a range of 67 nautical miles. The Taiwan strait is about 100 miles (87 nautical miles) in width.
This huge potential FMS (100 launchers and 400 missiles is significant) follows potential FMS of 11 HIMARS launchers with 64 ATACMS missiles and 135 AGM-84H SLAM ER missiles. These two systems have very long range and capable of striking Chinese bases from Taiwan.
Harpoon, Block II & Block II+
Designed in the late 1960ies/early 1970ies by McDonnell Douglas, the Harpoon is an all-weather anti-ship missile typically integrated with naval platforms which entered service with the U.S. Navy in 1977. The missile uses a radar guidance system to attack surface ships, and can also be launched from submarines, shore batteries, or aircraft.
In production from 2011, Harpoon Block II missiles feature autonomous, all-weather, over-the-horizon capability and can execute missions against sea and land targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, port or industrial facilities, and ships in port.
The Harpoon Block II+ provides a rapid-capability enhancement for the U.S. Navy that includes a new GPS guidance kit, reliability and survivability of the weapon, a new data link interface that enables in-flight updates, improved target selectivity, an abort option and enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures. It can be launched from multiple air and surface platforms.
More than 600 ships, 180 submarines, 12 different types of aircraft and land-based launch vehicles carry Harpoon missiles. Boeing has delivered more than 7,300 Harpoon and Harpoon Block II missiles to the U.S. Navy and more than 30 international military customers since the inaugural Harpoon contract was awarded by Naval Air Systems Command on June 21, 1971.