Tactical Tomahawk

The US Navy and Raytheon have successfully conducted a flight test, demonstrating the new capabilities for the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile.

Performed at the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG-68), the test saw the mission missile recording a direct hit on its target.

The flight test proved that the missile can operate with an improved, more flexible mission planning capability.

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "Together with our US Navy partners, we continue to modernise the Tomahawk Baseline IV weapon system to outpace threats and provide warfighters with a tactical edge.

"Tomahawk continues to be our nation’s weapon of choice for long-range, precision strikes against high-value targets."

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Designed for long-range precision strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets, the Block IV missile has a range of approximately 1,000 statute miles, while cruising at 550mph.

The test verified recent updates made to the mission planning system software, which supports planners to quickly design dynamic missions.

According to Raytheon, the mission planning system software updates represents the first significant software update to the Tomahawk missile in more than five years.

"Tomahawk continues to be our nation’s weapon of choice for long-range, precision strikes against high-value targets."

The new capabilities will be delivered throughout the fleet to support overseas contingency operations.

In June, the US Navy and Raytheon completed the operational testing and evaluation live-fires of the AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II infrared air-to-air missile.

The testing and evaluation process involved 16 planned shots against a variety of full-scale and sub-scale targets.

The new development helped the US Government to finalise the approval, acceptance, and delivery of the missiles to its services and allies later this year.

Image: A file photo showing the launch of a Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile from the USS Stethem. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo.