McDonnell Douglas AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack Missile: Slamming Harpoon

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Since 1979, air-launched harpoon become major anti-ship weaponry in carrier air wing. Though not big and fast like the Soviet one, but it was definitely an advanced and lethal missile. It soon became NATO’s standard ASM.

Harpoon’s success led to another program. After the Operation El Dorado Canyon, U.S. Navy realized they lacked a air-to-ground missile capable of strike high-value, near-shore targets. As an interim solution, development of Standoff Land Attack Missile is initiated in 1987.

McDonnell Douglas took the easiest way: combining seeker of the AGM-65D and Walleye’s datalink into Harpoon airframe. This significantly shortened the development time and cost, and SLAM was successfully used in Operation Desert Storm.

Although there were some disappointments, it showed promise and paved the way for its successor, SLAM-ER.


SLAM shares its basic design with AGM-84 Harpoon. Externally, it could be distinguished by longer body and seeker head.


SLAM uses Teledyne CAE J402-CA-400 turbojet engine for propulsion. It weighs 100 lb (45.4 kg) and provides 600-660 lbf (2.67-2.94 kN) of thrust.

Seeker is a key element that differs from Harpoon. The WGU-10/B, which was designed for common imaging infrared seeker for many guided weapons like AGM-65D, GBU-15 and AGM-130, is also used on SLAM.

SLAM and Harpoon shares 488 lb (221 kg) WDU-18/B penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead, containing 215 lb (97.5 kg) of Destex.

SLAM utilizes GPS-aided inertial navigation for midcourse guidance. During the terminal guidance, IIR seeker could target stationary and moving ground objects. However the SLAM’s maximum range is much longer than seeker’s acquisition range, so it requires datalink to the launch aircraft for stand-off attack.

If the missile is launched beyond the seeker range, the GPS-aided INS guides missile to the target. When the target comes within seeker’s field of view, video image is transmitted via datalink to the launch aircraft. Then the pilot may correct missile’s aiming point and disengage.

Length: 178 in (452.1 cm)
Diameter: 13.5 in (34.3 cm)
Wingspan: 36 in (91.4 cm)
Weight: 1,366 lb (620 kg)
Wing area: 253.13 in² (1,633 cm²)
Control surface area: 98.89 in² (638 cm²)
Propulsion: J402-CA-400

  • Thrust: 600-660 lbf (2.67-2.94 kN)
  • Thrust specific fuel consumption: 1.2-1.58 lb/lbf·h (0.12-0.16 kg/N·h)

Fuel capacity: 113.24 lb (51.4 kg)
Warhead: WDU-18/B

  • Explosive type: Destex
  • Explosive mass: 215 lb (97.5 kg)

Seeker: WGU-10/B
Guidance: GPS-aided inertial navigation + datalink + imaging infrared homing
Maximum cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 50 NM (93 km)

1 Like

Overdue since the Kh-38 gets to exist


It’s a great idea for the United States to always lag behind the Soviet Union in its missiles

yes The Russian Federation is the strongest country in this game, not the United States

+1 early cruise missile for USN & USMC aircraft

A-6E SWIP, Legacy Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Blk 1 used AGM-84E SLAM


+1, it’s only a matter of time before cruise missiles come to the game

A true counterpart to the KH-38, would love to see this in game as a precursor to the AGM-84K which will go to several nations!