WATCH: Belgian Navy’s frigate Leopold I fires Harpoon missile
Belgian Navy’s Karel Doorman-class frigate Leopold I fired a Harpoon Block II missile for the first time during multinational exercise Mjoelner 2022.
The fictional scenario took place at night in the Far North. Leopold I sailed closer to the coast in order to further eliminate the opponent’s capabilities.
During the exercise, the vessel fired the missile on a land target. Recent upgrade of this anti-ship weapon now allows the navy’s frigates to engage shore targets as well, at ranges over 100km, according to the navy officials.
The Maritime Warfare Center then investigates how the ship reacted and analyzes the data from the weapon systems.
“In a scenario where one ship is defending itself against one target, the retrospective analysis is fairly limited. In a more tactical scenario with other ships nearby and where not everything goes perfectly, the analysis afterwards is much more interesting for us,” a navy official added.
The exercise Mjoelner 2022 is an Arctic biennial exercise conducted with the Danish, German, Dutch and Norwegian navies. The Belgian Navy has been participating in these launches in a tactical scenario since 2016, but the firing of the Harpoon Block II missile is a first.
The 123-meter long frigate Leopold I was previously known under the name HNLMS Karel Doorman (F827). It is one of the two frigates of this class purchased from the Royal Netherlands Navy in December 2005.