Warship destroys target in harpoon missile test-fire

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A Royal Navy warship has completed a test-firing of a powerful Harpoon missile capable of destroying a target up to 80 miles away.

Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose fired the anti-ship missile while on exercise off Scotland, destroying a target barge.

The Harpoon missile is fired from HMS Montrose

The Harpoon missile is fired from HMS Montrose

A booster rocket helps launch the missile, which is 15ft long and about 1ft in diameter, at 800mph before the turbojet then powers it along at Mach 0.9, just under the speed of sound.

Principal warfare officer Lieutenant Ben Evans said: ‘The intensity and stress of conducting complex warfare training increases tenfold when you know that there is almost a quarter of a tonne of warhead on the end of the live missile you are about to fire - but so is the satisfaction increased when you achieve your goal.’

HMS Montrose is based at Devonport Naval Base.