Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: RGM-109E, TacTom, TLAM-E, Tomahawk Block IV, TT TTL and UGM-109E
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 Tactical Tomahawk is the latest and most advanced derivative of the Tomahawk cruise missile. It features the capability of reprogramming the missile while in-flight to attack another alternative target (flex-targeting), loitering capability over a target area for some time, battle damage assessment through on-board TV camera and production costs around a half of existing Block III missiles. The Tactical Tomahawk incorporates COTS technology to achieve the objective production costs. The Block IV missile will have a 15-year warranty and recertification cycle, compared to the Block III variant's eight-year recertification cycle.
According to MoD's sources the United Kingdom would purchase Tactical Tomahawk missiles as a follow on of the Block III purchase in the 1990s. This seems to be likely because the Tactical Tomahawk is being adapted for firing through torpedo tubes. On 21 April 2004, the UK MoD announced the purchase of 64 Tomahawk Block IV missiles worth £70 million ($125 million) to be fired from current Trafalgar class and new Astute class submarines.
On May 27, 2004, the first low-rate missiles were delivered to the US Navy achieving initial operational capability (IOC) with the loading of the first missile onboard USS Stethem (DDG-63). On August 18, 2004, the US Navy awarded Raytheon a $1.6 billion multi-year procurement contract for the purchase of 2,200 Tactical Tomahawk missiles from FY2004 through FY2008. The contract also approved full rate production. The US Navy will receive 2135 missiles worth $1.56 billion and the United Kingdom will take over the remaining 65 missiles valued at $47 million. Production work is scheduled to be complete in June 2011.
The first two launch tests of production Tomahawk Bloc IV missiles were conducted on September 16, 2004, and on September 21, 2004. The first launch was conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center's Indian Head Division using a Tomahawk equipped with an inert warhead and flying a simulated mission. The second test was conduced by the USS Stethem (DDG-63) destroyer. The production missile was launched from the Burke-class destroyer and flew a land attack mission. These tests validated Tomahawk Block IV's rocket motor (booster), engine, guidance and navigation systems and the entire weapon.
On December 6, 2004, United Defense was awarded a $104 million, if all options are exercised, for the production and delivery of Mk 14 mod 2 canisters in support of the Tactical Tomahawk missile. Mk 14 mod 2 canisters have been specially designed to fit into Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) aboard US Navy's destroyers and cruisers. The contract includes options for the upgrade of 688 existing Mk 14 canisters and production of 439 Mk 14 mod 2 canisters. Mk 14 mod 2 are fully compatible with the newest Tomahawk variant.
In June 2005 the US Navy reported its estimated cost for the Tactical Tomahawk program totaling $4.2 billion including production of 3,404 missiles. In February 2006 Raytheon was awarded a $14 million modification to a previously contract for 65 Tactical Tomahawk missiles for the United Kingdom. The contract provided funds to convert these 65 submarine vertical launch missiles into Tactical Tomahawk Torpedo Tube Launched (TT TTL) missiles. In March 2006 Raytheon was awarded Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile fiscal year 2006 production contract valued at $346 million. The contract includes 473 missiles for both the United States Navy and the Royal Navy to be delivered from 2006 through to 2009. Under this contract the United Kingdom was slated to take over 65 submarine torpedo tube-launched missiles. As of December 2013, the US Navy's TACTOM program decreased from 4,951 to 3,790 cruise missiles.
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