Lockheed Martin is upgrading the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) that integrates the launch hardware and software to provide weapon control for the missile in partnership with US Navy Labs.

The upgrade follows the previously awarded initial development contract in 1999 by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to support TTWCS.

Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense C4ISR Systems vice president Jim Quinn said that the company remained committed to enhancing the capability of the Tomahawk Weapons System.

"The latest upgrade helps Tomahawk remain a viable weapon system for our warfighters," Quinn added.

The new TTWCS system upgrade has been authorised for fleet release by the Program Executive Office, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation, and PMA-280, Tomahawk Weapons System after a five year design, development and test programme.

TTWCS, one of the three crucial components that comprise the Tomahawk Weapons System, enables firing units to prepare, control, and launch Tomahawk missiles.

The system also provides the capability to plan new missions on board and communicate with multiple Tomahawks to retarget and redirect the missiles in flight.

Upgrade to the system’s hardware and software will improve specific mission and launch timelines and serves as lead for another upgrade scheduled in 2015.

The Lockheed-led team is also developing new processors to reduce run-times for several applications from minutes to seconds.

The new TTWCS upgrade will be installed on the US Navy’s surface ships that include Ticonderoga Class Cruisers (CG) and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers (DDG), as part of an incremental approach.

The Tomahawk missile capability is programmed on all US Navy ship classes, including cruisers, destroyers, and all attack and guided missiles class submarines.

The system has also provided the UK Royal Navy’s Astute and Trafalgar Class submarines with similar firepower capability.

Image: Tomahawk missile being launched from a US Navy destroyer. Photo: Lockheed Martin.