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The Belgian Navy (Marinecomponent/Composante marine) frigate Louise-Marie fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile for the first time on Wednesday, May 30th. The event took place as part of the Mjoelner International missile exercise held in the far north of Norway. The ship was decked out with its heaviest weapons for a week.


The Belgian Navy (Marinecomponent/Composante marine) frigate Louise-Marie fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile for the first time on Wednesday, May 30th. The event took place as part of the Mjoelner International missile exercise held in the far north of Norway. The ship was decked out with its heaviest weapons for a week.


Video Belgian Navy Frigate Louise Marie Fires Harpoon Missile for the 1st Time Belgian Navy Frigate Louise Marie launching a Harpoon anti-ship missile during the Mjoelner exercise. Belgian Navy picture.


Mjoelner (or Mjölnir) is the name of Thor's hammer in Norse mythology. A fitting name for an exercise held May 28 to May 31, during which six naval vessels deployed a complete arsenal against all kinds of simulated threats. The trainings took place mainly at night because the traffic at sea is less intense. In northern Norway, visibility was not really a problem because there is daylight 24 hours a day during the summer.

The Harpoon is an important part of the arsenal of Belgian frigates. This missile is their main weapon against for anti-surface warfare. Because of its high cost and limited stock, Belgium had never used it until now.


Belgian Navy video


"The launch was a success," said Lieutenant-Commander Nicolas Van Damme, executive officer (XO) of Louise-Marie. "The target was a radar reflector on a raft about 17 nautical miles (about 31.5 km) from the ship. The missile struck the reflector at a speed slightly lower than Mach 1 (330 meters per second) in just under two minutes. "

"For this type of launch, we usually have a very specific scenario," said captain Kristof Van Belleghem. He is the commanding officer of Louise-Marie since last January. "A drone arrives on the ship, the environment is completely secure and we are focused on shooting it down. "

Exercise Mjoelner was different, however. "We work in a warlike context that is highly realistic. Several boats are sailing and we do not know who should fire and when. We react according to events and according to our own procedures and abilities, as we would in real conditions. The most important thing is to avoid what we call a blue-on-blue incident, namely: do not enter our respective shooting ranges or shoot us accidentally. "

Original story in French - More picture at this link.