UK seeks Tomahawk weapon system support from US

18 April 2013 (Last Updated April 18th, 2013 03:50)

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) for Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) support and associated equipment to the UK.

Tomahawk missile

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) for Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) support and associated equipment to the UK.

Under the follow-on estimated $170m FMS programme, the UK has requested support for the TWS including missile modifications, maintenance, spare and repair parts, system and test equipment, as well as engineering support.

The proposed sale package also includes support for communications equipment, technical assistance, personnel training/equipment and other related logistics support.

Enabling lifecycle support of its TWS, the follow-on support will also help in maintaining the system's operational effectiveness and safeguard its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the US.

Raytheon Missile Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE North America, COMGLOBAL and SAIC will serve as prime contractors for the FMS programme.

"The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile and has been designed to strike targets on land with pinpoint accuracy."

Originally produced by General Dynamics and currently being developed by Raytheon, the Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile and has been designed to strike targets on land with pinpoint accuracy, while maintaining high subsonic speeds at very low-altitudes.

The Tomahawk weapon system features Tomahawk missile, Theatre Mission Planning Centre (TMPC)/Afloat Planning System, and the Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TWCS) for surface vessels or Combat Control System (CCS) for submarines.

Armed with a nuclear warhead or unitary warhead or a conventional sub-munitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets, the 5.56m-long Tomahawk missile can carry a nuclear or conventional payload.

Known as the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM) for the UK Royal Navy, the Tomahawk Block IV missile is in service onboard the navy's Trafalgar and Astute-class nuclear submarines.


Image: HMS Astute test fires Tomahawk land attack cruise missile. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

Defence Technology