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.
“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.