Navy to replace Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at terrorist targets this week with new order
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 25 Sept. 2014. The 40-plus U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at terrorist targets in the Middle East this week will be replaced with a new quarter-billion-dollar cruise missile procurement announced Wednesday.
U.S. Navy officials announced the purchase of 231 Tomahawk Block IV all-up-round missiles from the missile's designer, the Raytheon Co. Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., under terms of a $251.1 million contract.
The new batch of Tomahawk cruise missiles, ordered by U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are for launch from surface warships and submarines. U.S. Navy vessels reportedly fired more than 40 Tomahawk missiles this week at terrorist targets in Syria.
The Raytheon RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM Block IV) is one of the latest versions of the Tomahawk cruise missile, developed initially in the 1970s, with digital scene matching area correlator system and improved turbofan engine. The subsonic long-range cruise missile is designed to attack targets on land, as well as large hardened warships at sea.
The cruise missile, which can attack targets from as far away as 900 nautical miles, can be controlled in flight, and has a real-time targeting system for striking moving targets. The Tomahawk Block IV missile is capable of launch from surface ships equipped with the vertical launch system (VLS), from submarines equipped with the capsule launch system (CLS), and from submarines equipped with the torpedo tube launch system.
The Tomahawk procurement announced this week for 231 missiles includes 147 weapons for the VLS aboard Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers, 64 weapons for the CLS aboard Navy submarines, and 20 weapons for the torpedo launch systems aboard Royal Navy submarines of the United Kingdom.
The Tomahawk Block IV has a two-way satellite data link that enables the missile to respond to changing battlefield conditions. Controllers can reprogram the missile in flight to send it to alternate targets preprogrammed before launch, or redirect it to a new target.
The missile also can loiter over the battlefield to wait for the most valuable target to attack, and can transmit battle damage indication imagery and missile health, as well as status messages, from the weapon's satellite data link. The missile also can fly GPS-only missions. The Block IV Tomahawk has anti-jam capability.
The Tomahawk cruise missile has a 1,000-pound warhead of either high explosives, polymer-bonded explosives, or the BLU-97/B combined effects weapon with independent bomblets designed to cause fragmentation and incendiary damage to enemy fighters, supply depots, and vehicles.
On this contract Raytheon will do the missile work in Tucson, Ariz.; Camden, Ark.; Ogden, Utah; Anniston, Ala.; Minneapolis; Glenrothes, Scotland; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Spanish Fork, Utah; Ontario, Calif.; Vergennes, Vt.; El Segundo, Calif.; Berryville, Ark.; Westminster, Colo.; Middletown, Conn.; Walled Lake, Mich.; Huntsville, Ala.; Dallas; Farmington, N.M.; and various locations inside and outside the continental U.S., and should be finished by August 2016.