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

The tests were aimed to show flexible and mission-critical planning ability in real-time to hit time-sensitive targets. The two Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles are made up of inert warheads.

The flight tests were launched from the vertical launch system of USS Pinckney (DDG 91) at the Naval Air Systems Command Sea Test Range off the Southern California coast, US.

"Tomahawk continues to serve and rapidly deliver urgently needed capabilities to the fleet."

Raytheon Missile Systems Tomahawk senior programme director Dave Adams said: “Tomahawk's tactics and procedures have evolved to support the new missions that are being assigned to the weapon.

“Tomahawk continues to serve and rapidly deliver urgently needed capabilities to the fleet.”

Planned in real-time by the crew of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the first test was based on information supplied by US Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

For the test, the crew of USS Pinckney used the launch platform mission planning (LPMP) capability of the tactical Tomahawk weapons control system.

The first Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile followed a pre-planned route until the test was concluded.

The LPMP capability was also used during the second test in order to deliver a longer-duration mission that also validated the missile performance. The test also ended with a terminal dive manoeuvre against the target.

Since 2006, the US Navy has conducted over 75 successful Tomahawk flight tests, while the missile has been used in combat more than 2,000 times to date.

In August 2015, the US Navy and Raytheon also conducted a flight test of Tomahawk at the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG-68), demonstrating the missile recording a direct strike on its target.

Image: The Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Raytheon.