Raytheon tests Tomahawk Block IV missile’s communications upgrades

2 March 2014 (Last Updated March 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Raytheon has successfully completed testing of communications advancements integrated in a Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile.

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile

Raytheon has successfully completed testing of communications advancements integrated in a Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile.

During the flight test, a Raytheon-built Tomahawk Block IV missile was fired from the US Navy's Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Sterett.

Following the launch, the missile flew a pre-programmed route while receiving updates from a simulated maritime operations centre and from advanced off-board sensors updating the target location of the missile.

The missile maintained communications with all the command and control assets throughout the flight, providing updates on its location before destroying the target.

Raytheon Tomahawk programme director Roy Donelson said that the company is working closely with the US Navy to advance the Tomahawk missile.

"By making key changes to the way the operators use sensors and communications assets, we can now provide the fleet with even more dynamic targeting capabilities for Tomahawk," Donelson added.

The flight test demonstrated the Tomahawk's loitering capability which enables the missile to be redirected to a new aim point as targets change in the battlespace.

US Navy Tomahawk programme manager captain Joe Mauser said that the long-range capability of the missile provides increased flexibility for commanders in theatre.

"When our ships and submarines are within 100 miles of a coastline, Tomahawks can fly deep inland and strike from a direction the enemy might not suspect," Mauser added.

With a range of approximately 1,000 statute miles, the Tomahawk Block IV missile is a surface- and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon designed for long-range precision strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets.


Image: A Raytheon-built Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile during flight. Photo: US Navy photo. (RELEASED).

Defence Technology