Air Weapons: Brazil, Harpoon And Nervous Neighbors


May 26, 2014: Brazil is buying 16 U.S. Harpoon (AGM-84L Block II) anti-ship missiles, along with four training missiles, maintenance equipment and technical services for $169 million. These will be used on the Brazilian Air Force P-3C maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The 546 kg (1,200 pound) Harpoon has a 222 kg (487 pound) warhead and a range of 220 kilometers. It approaches the target low, at about 860 kilometers an hour. GPS gets the missile to the general vicinity of the target, then onboard radar takes over to identify and hit the target. The Harpoon has successful combat experience going back two decades. Block II Harpoons have an INS backup guidance system along with several improvements to the software.

Brazil is upgrading its P-3s and this includes giving them the firepower necessary to take on surface ships.




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