Navy asks Raytheon to build 196 new Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles for ships, submarines

Nov. 6, 2017
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Munitions experts at the Raytheon Co. will build 196 Tomahawk Block IV long-range cruise missiles for the U.S. Navy under terms of a new order announced Friday.
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Munitions experts at the Raytheon Co. will build 196 Tomahawk Block IV long-rangecruise missiles for the U.S. Navy under terms of a new order announced Friday.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking The Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to build the advanced surface ship- and submarine-launched cruise missiles under terms of a $260.3 million contract modification.

The RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM Block IV) is one of the latest versions of the 1970s-vintage Tomahawk cruise missile 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 surface warships.

Friday's order is a modification to a December 2016 $303.7 million contract for Raytheon to build 214 Tomahawk Block IV missiles. In January 2015 Raytheon won a $139.2 million order to build 100 Tomahawk Block IV missiles, and in September 2015 Raytheon also won a $251.1 million order to build 231 Tomahawks shortly after U.S. forces fired 40-plus Tomahawks at terrorist targets in the Middle East.

Related: Raytheon to upgrade venerable Tomahawk cruise missile for anti-ship role against moving enemy vessels

The Tomahawk Block IV 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. Controllers reprogram the missile in flight to sent it to alternate targets preprogrammed before launch, or redirect it to a new target.

Raytheon won a $119 million contract last September to upgrade the Tomahawk for the anti-ship role with a new sensor system to enable the weapon to attack moving enemy ships at sea. The company is integrating seeker suite technology and processing capabilities into the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile in support of the Maritime Strike Tomahawk Program.

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 Block IV has a two-way satellite data link that enables the missile to respond to changing battlefield conditions. The missile 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, the weapon's satellite data link. The missile also can fly GPS-only missions.

Related: Navy updates Tomahawk cruise missile control system processors and software

The Block IV Tomahawk has an anti-jam capability, 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 the contract modification announced Friday , Raytheon will do the work in Tucson, Ariz.; Camden and Berryville, Ark.; Glenrothes, Scotland; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Spanish Fork, Utah; Vergennes, Vt.; Ontario, El Segundo, Moorpark, Hollister, La Mesa, South El Monte, and Valencia, Calif.; Westminster, Colo.; Walled Lake, Mich.; Middletown and Simsbury, Conn.; Gainesville, Va.; Clearwater, Fla.; Midland, Ontario; Dublin, Ga.; and other locations, and should be finished by August 2019.

For more information contact Raytheon Missile Systems online at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

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About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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