Raytheon has delivered the US Navy’s first Block V configured Tomahawk missile, marking a major milestone for the capability modernisation programme.

The latest delivery creates a path to provide the fleet with an ‘upgraded warfighting capability’.

Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile in service with the US and the British Royal Navy’s surface ships and submarines.

In a press statement, US Naval Air Systems Command said that these first Block V missiles are from the existing Tomahawk Block IV inventory.

The first Block V missiles have been recertified and modernised for fleet use.

Tomahawk Weapons System programme (PMA-280) programme manager captain Vernon ‘John’ Red said: “This is the next big advancement in Tomahawk capability and a major achievement for the programme.

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“We’re focused now on delivering advanced capability to the fleet by recertifying and modernising our Block IV inventory, and by contracting production Block V missiles.”

Red said that the programme has continued to upgrade Tomahawk’s capability over the past four decades.

This marked a strategic collaboration between Raytheon, supply chains, field activities as well as the programme office.

The US Navy noted that Raytheon is conducting the mid-life recertification process of the missile at its Arkansas facility.

This process replaces ‘life-limited components’ in Block IV missiles that enables the missiles’ remaining 15 years of service life.

All Block IV missiles are yet to undergo recertification and modernisation.

Block V Tomahawk missiles feature a Navigation/Communications (NAV/COMMs) upgrade which maintains the ‘In-Flight Target Updates and Improved Navigation’ capability.