Australian P-8A Poseidon fires first Harpoon missile during sinking exercise

The Australian P-8A Poseidon aircraft has achieved another milestone successfully firing its first Harpoon anti-ship missile during exercise RIMPAC 18 off Hawaii.

The ATM-84J Harpoon missile was launched from the aircraft to sink its target, decommissioned US Navy ship USS Racine.

Australian defense minister, senator Marise Payne, said the Harpoon is integral to the P-8A reaching full operational capability.

“The successful launch of the Harpoon requires a significant effort from a range of specialist personnel,” minister Payne said.

“The men and women of the RAAF’s 92 Wing should be proud to have achieved this key step in the realisation of this important capability for Australia,” Minister Payne said.

“Our partnership with the United States Navy has allowed us access to the Range Facility, a long standing agreement which has seen the successful testing of many Australian Defence Force weapons systems across both Air Force and Navy.”

Exercise RIMPAC 18 is the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, with 25 nations participating.

The Australian Defence Force is participating with Royal Australian Navy HMA Ships Adelaide, Success, Melbourne, Toowoomba and Rankin; Australian Army’s 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment; and the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon.

Photo: An ATM-84J Harpoon is released from a P-8A Poseidon aircraft during RIMPAC 2018. Photo: Royal Australian Air Force