ST. CHARLES, Mo., July 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy and Boeing have marked the Harpoon anti-ship missile system's 40th year in service with a ceremony at a Boeing facility.
"After four decades of cooperation with our Navy partners, Boeing's dedicated and talented Harpoon team continues to find innovative ways to meet the needs of warfighters on today's ever-changing battlefields," said Debbie Rub, vice president and general manager for Boeing Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems.
"Throughout the life of this legacy program, Boeing has continually incorporated system upgrades to enhance the Harpoon's reach and interoperability."
Boeing has delivered more than 7,200 Harpoon and Harpoon Block II missiles for the Navy and more than 30 international military customers since the inaugural Harpoon contract was awarded by Naval Air Systems Command on June 21, 1971.
More than 600 ships, 180 submarines, 12 different types of aircraft and land-based launch vehicles carry Harpoon missiles.
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.