Maritime Strike Tomahawk
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The BGM-109 Tomahawk missile is a long range, land attack, subsonic, cruise missile launched from surface ships and submarines. The Tomahawk missiles fly at extremely low altitudes at subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. Its propulsion system consists of a Williams International F107-WR-402 cruise turbo fan engine and a solid fuel booster. Radar detection of Tomahawk cruise missile is difficult because the missile's low radar cross section and low altitude flight. In addition F107 engine emits little heat.
The baseline Tomahawk cruise missile uses a Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM), INS and Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) guidance system. Late models add a GPS capability to the guidance system. The Tomahawk can be armed with a W-80 nuclear warhead, a 1,000-pound unitary warhead and a general purpose submunition dispenser with combined effects bomblets. The Tomahawk cruise missiles are delivered to ships and submarines as an all-up-round, including the missile, the booster and the container. The missile was used for the first time in 1991 during the Desert Storm in Iraq. Since then the Tomahawk missile has been used against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Sudan and recently Iraq during operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) with roughly 800 missiles being fired.
The Maritime Strike Tomahawk is a modified version of the Tactical Tomahawk land attack cruise missile intended to take out surface ships at distances of up to 1,600 kilometers. The missile primary goal is to keep at bay the Chinese Navy surface fleet in the South China Sea. It will feature an improved navigation and homing head to take out targets over long ranges with outstanding effectiveness. The US Navy intends to field the new missile onboard surface ships and submarines beginning in 2023.
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