Harriett Baldwin and her French counterpart have signed an agreement to explore future long range weapons for the British and French Navies and Air Forces.

The missile however will not be ready to replace Harpoon until 2030, leaving British frigates without any real means to engage surface warships aside from their helicopters.

14 COMMENTS

  1. 2030s in service date, is a very long time away. Given the inevitable time delays with advanced technology could see the RN without a ship launched heavyweight anti ship missile for 20 years.

    I read “options for replacing the Harpoon anti-ship missile are ‘being considered’, as politican speak for not a chance in hell of a replacement being procured..

  2. Aah… the Pegasus vapourware…. always tomorrows weapon.

    Here we go again for a nother Anglo/French joint that probably won’t go anywhere.

  3. As they are upgrading Storm Shadow in the meantime, why not upgrade the guidance to allow them to target moving ships? Add the close in guidance from the Spear 3 or even the latest version of the Exocet, both also made by MBDA, and you have a long range anti ship capability at what must be a relatively low additional cost if you are already doing an upgrade. Accepting that they will effectively only be fitted to the Typhoon (the Tornado retiring and the F-35 not being specified for Storm Shadow), they would fill a gap the RAF has had since the retirement of Sea Eagle. As for the Royal Navy, the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile would make sense. It is the most modern in the Western arsenal, is containerised and slightly smaller than Harpoon, so should fit easily where Harpoon is mounted on the Type 23/45 and available from a reliable source.

  4. The good news about this is that in spite of a politically acrimonious Brexit already, from a point of view of defence the UK and France are still talking and co-operating. But something will be needed to fill the gap, there’s already been the sheer stupidity of the MPAs (I liked the MRA4, cancelled to save just £1 bn). Probably life support for the Harpoon or indeed enhanced capability for the Storm Shadow.

  5. There are reports floating around the net that Boeing is touting an upgrade kit for the existing Harpoon missile inventories for under approximately $600 000.
    I believe they are referred to as Block 2+ER have found information on the upgrades at Boeing’s own website and USNI news site.

  6. Harpoon Block 2 upgrade would be the most cost effective system and last for ten years until this new weapon comes into service, therefore it probably won’t be adopted.

  7. Nice about missiles being added to the Taranis work as well other projects.
    Now maybe the UK and France should do what they planned to do and build another QE Class carrier. Modules built here and assembled in Brest or wherever and let the French work out the catapults for their Rafales.

    £1.75 Bn each should do it and share running costs. But no Garlic in the Ratings mess ..

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