Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense System
Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense System

Boeing Awarded $ 498 Million Order to Deliver Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System to Taiwan

Boeing will produce Harpoon anti-ship system equipment for Taiwan to fulfill a foreign military sales (FMS) requirement under a $498.3 million order from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command. This order provides for the production and delivery of the Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System (HCDS) in support of the government of Taiwan, specifically 100 Launcher Transporter Units, 25 Radar Units, and HCDS training equipment. The defense contractor will work on the Harpoon Coastal Defense System launchers at various locations within the U.S., mostly in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York. NAVSEA will obligate $244.2 million at the time of award from FMS funds.

In October 2020, the U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Taiwan of up to 100 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.37 billion. 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 parts, support equipment, technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment.

Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System (HCDS) (Photo by Boeing)

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile, developed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security). At least 339 Harpoon missiles were sold to the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) for its F-16 A/B Block 20 fleet and the Taiwanese Navy, which operates four guided-missile destroyers and eight guided-missile frigates with the capability of carrying the Harpoon, including the eight former U.S. Navy Knox-class frigates and the four former USN Kidd-class destroyers which have been sold to Taiwan. Taiwan has also bought 60 AGM-84L Block-2 missiles to arm its F-16A combat aircraft under a separate $90 million deal.

The Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System (HCDS) is the land-based version of the Boeing Harpoon missile Block II anti-ship and land-attack missile, which is designed to eliminate enemy coastal defenses, surface-to-air missile launch sites, aircraft, ports, and docked ships. HCDS consists of RGM-84L-4 Block II surface-launched Harpoon missiles with a maximum range of 75 miles, radar trucks, and support and test equipment. The Harpoon Block II, uses a 500-pound warhead for sea and land-based targets. 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.

Royal Danish Navy Mobile Missile Battery (Harpoon Block I Coastal Missile Defense System Truck). (Photo by Marinens Biblioteks Arkiv)