US Navy Prepared Sub-Launched Harpoon for RIMPAC Exercise

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On July 6, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force Commander tweeted images of a UGM-84 Harpoon sub-launched, antiship cruise missile being loaded onto the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN-717). The Navy plans to use the sub-launched Harpoon in a live-fire during its RIMPAC 2018 multi-national exercise amidst discussions of returning it to service. The Navy retired the sub-launched UGM-84 Harpoon in 1997 as part of a shift in emphasis to littoral rather than blue-water conflict, and its attack submarines have not been reequipped with antiship missile capabilities. The inclusion of the Harpoon in the RIMPAC 2018 exercise follows renewed interest in high-intensity conflict preparedness.