Tomahawk Block IV missile

Raytheon has successfully completed the field test of an advanced electronic support measure (ESM) seeker, integrated in a Tomahawk Block IV missile and demonstrated its greater capability and performance.

Following completion of seven months of testing in anechoic chambers, the seeker demonstrated its capability in a realistic high-density environment as part of the company’s new product improvement programme.

Featuring state-of-the-art processor and antenna to detect and track moving and fixed emitting targets, the ESM multi-mode seeker technology will enable the navy’s surface action group to fire Tomahawks and defeat mobile threats at long range.

The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile and has been designed for precision strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets.

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Raytheon Missile Systems Tomahawk programme director, Roy Donelson, said that the new moving target capability will allow Tomahawk to engage moving targets on land while boosting its already exceptional land attack mode capability.

"The new moving target capability will allow Tomahawk to engage moving targets on land while boosting its already exceptional land attack mode capability."

"We believe this evolution would align with DOD’s vision of increasing capability while maintaining development costs," Donelson said.

"Tomahawk is an open architecture ‘truck’ capable of integrating payloads and sensors that have high technology readiness levels."

Currently, Raytheon and the US Navy are working together to assess technical and operational capabilities of Tomahawk missile using cost-efficient manufacturing processes.

Powered by a Williams International F415 cruise turbo-fan engine and ARC MK 135 rocket motor, the Tomahawk Block IV missile incorporates a two-way satellite datalink that allows a strike controller to flex the missile to pre-programmed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target.

The surface and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon has a range of approximately 1,000 statute miles and is currently programmed on all US Navy ship classes.

Image: A Tomcat fighter escorts a Tomahawk Block IV missile during a controlled test. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.

Defence Technology