Tomahawk missile

Raytheon has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for the current fiscal year, along with an option for the following year.

Under the $251m contract, Raytheon will be tasked with the production and delivery of Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the US Navy and UK Royal Navy.

US Navy Tomahawk programme manager captain Joseph Mauser said: "Tomahawk Block IV continues to be our nation’s weapon of choice to defeat high-value targets and integrated air-defence systems.

"With more than 2,000 combat missions and 500 successful flight tests, Tomahawk has proven its outstanding reliability and effectiveness."

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The production and deliveries of the missiles are scheduled to commence in 2015, and the agreement also involves flight tests and lifecycle support.

The two-way satellite data-link integrated into the missile enables a strike controller to bow the missile in-flight to pre-planned alternate targets, or launch to an alternate or more time-critical target.

"Raytheon and the US Navy are working to bring even greater capability to this already sophisticated weapon."

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "Tomahawk’s record of reliability, effectiveness and accuracy is unmatched by any other tactical cruise missile in the world today.

"Raytheon and the US Navy are working to bring even greater capability to this already sophisticated weapon."

Earlier this month, the US Navy successfully completed back-to-back flight trials of the Tomahawk Block IV missile cruise missile to demonstrate its latest software updates.

Mainly intended for long-range precision-strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets, the surface and submarine-launched stand-off weapon comes with a range of more than 1,000 miles.

Tomahawk missiles have already been integrated on all vital US surface combatants and US and UK sub-surface platforms, including the Los Angeles, Virginia, Ohio, Astute and Trafalgar-class submarines.

Image: A Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile during a flight test. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.

Defence Technology