NEW DELHI --- The Indian Air Force launched an anti-ship Harpoon missile from a fighter plane for the first time at a pre-designated target in the Arabian Sea last week. The missile, built by US defence giant Boeing, was launched on May 22 from a Jaguar maritime strike fighter that flew 200 nautical miles off the west coast to carry out the mission, a source said.
The fighter belonged to the IAF’s maritime strike squadron based at the Lohegaon airbase outside Pune. The Jaguar was refuelled midair during the mission, the source added.
An official confirmed it was the “first live firing” of the Harpoon from a warplane in India after integration by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. “It was successful,” he added.
With a range of 124 km, the Harpoon is capable of land-strike missions too.
The navy tested the Harpoon last year when a Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft launched the subsonic missile to take out a ‘target’ in the Bay of Bengal.