May 31, 2014
Portugal to induct Harpoon Block II for submarines in 2014
Eight Portuguese Navy RGM-84 Block I surface-launched anti-ship missiles are being adapted into Block II weapons in Den Helder, the Netherlands, with the installation of upgrade kits. Upgrade of the first missile was completed on schedule at the end of 2013; the navy plans to formally induct the updated UGM-84 missile into service in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Portugal also purchased eight capsules and associated containers in 2009 under its Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA) agreement with the United States.
In mid-2012, Tridente carried out sea trials at the US Navy's (USN's) Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, where it fired several capsules to qualify both the missile launch procedure, and integration with the weapon system's fire control unit and other submarine systems.
The diesel-electric/air-independent propulsion submarines were delivered with the Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS) fitted. Alongside active radar guidance for the prosecution of anti-ship targets, the Block II introduces GPS-aided inertial navigation to provide a land attack capability against fixed targets.
Along with the missiles, the boats' eight 533 mm torpedo tubes are capable of firing Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes, 24 of which were purchased in March 2005.
Intended to replace the Albacore-class Daphné boats, Tridente and Arpão were commissioned in June and December 2010 respectively. The vessels were acquired in April 2004 for EUR833 million by the Portuguese procurement agency (DGAIED) from what is known today as ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).