Tomahawk Demos Flight Plans in Real Time to Strike Time-Sensitive Targets

Today's Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile can circle for hours, shift course instantly on command and beam a picture of its target to controllers halfway around the world before striking with pinpoint accuracy. (Image Credit: Raytheon)
Today's Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile can circle for hours, shift course instantly on command and beam a picture of its target to controllers halfway around the world before striking with pinpoint accuracy. (Image Credit: Raytheon)

The U.S. Navy and partner Raytheon, have successfully completed two flight tests of the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile, demonstrating how missions can now be planned in real time to strike time-sensitive targets.

“Tomahawk’s tactics and procedures have evolved to support the new missions that are being assigned to the weapon,” said Dave Adams, senior program director for Tomahawk at Raytheon Missile Systems.

“Tomahawk continues to serve and rapidly deliver urgently needed capabilities to the Fleet.”

(See Tomahawk Land-Attack Missiles (TLAM) launched against ISIL targets from the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51).  Arleigh Burke is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II/RELEASED)

Two Tomahawk missiles containing inert warheads were launched from the Vertical Launch System of USS Pinckney (DDG 91) at the Naval Air Systems Command Sea Test Range off the Southern California coast.

The first test was planned in real time by the crew of the USS Pinckney, who used the Launch Platform Mission Planning (LPMP) capability of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System, based on data provided by the United States Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Tomahawk missile followed a pre-planned route until the conclusion of the test.

In the second test, mission planners again used the dynamic LPMP capability to generate a longer-duration mission that also concluded with a terminal dive maneuver against the target. This test also validated missile performance for a long-duration mission.

Tomahawk has a range of 1,000 statute miles and can defeat heavily defended targets virtually anywhere on Earth.

About The Tomahawk

The Tomahawk is a highly accurate, GPS enabled precision weapon that has been used over 2,000 times in combat, and flight tested more than 500 times.

During the NATO-led effort against the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Tomahawk played an instrumental role in the operation. One submarine fired more than 90 missiles at a variety of targets, and the USS Barry fired the 2,000th Tomahawk in combat.

As the battlespace and the needs of the warfighter evolve, Raytheon is doing what it has always done: supporting the warfighter with the world’s most advanced cruise missile – Tomahawk.

Tomahawk cruise missiles have flown more than 2,000 combat missions
Tomahawk cruise missiles have flown more than 2,000 combat missions

The latest variant (Tomahawk Block IV) includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to preprogrammed, alternate targets. The Block IV design was initiated as both a cost savings and a capability improvement effort.

Raytheon and the U.S. Navy are now enhancing this already sophisticated weapon. Planned upgrades to the Tomahawk Block IV include: upgraded communications, a more powerful warhead, and a new seeker designed to hit moving targets at sea or on land in darkness and all kinds of weather. The multi-mode seeker test is scheduled for later this year.

Modernizing Tomahawk is quick and affordable way to provide warfighters with the capability they need to stay ahead of the threat.

The U.S. Navy has conducted more than 75 successful Tomahawk flight tests since 2006. The cruise missile has been employed in combat more than 2,000 times since it was introduced.

Tomahawk is the key weapon used by U.S. and British forces to defeat integrated air defense systems and strike high–value, fixed and mobile targets in support of national policy.

Raytheon

Raytheon, with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions.

With a history of innovation spanning 94 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I™ products and services, sensing, effects, and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.