The US Navy’s Raytheon-built Tomahawk tactical missile has successfully completed a production acceptance test using functional ground test (FGT) capability.
The test was conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head explosive ordnance disposal technology division’s (NSWC IHEODTD) Large Rocket Motor Test Facility in Indian Head, Maryland, US.
NSWC IHEODTD FGT software lead Mike Gardner said: "After ‘launch,’ real-time, six-degree-of-freedom accredited mission simulation software provides inputs to the missile’s guidance system to mimic flight, targeting and detonation.
"The missile ‘flew’ for about an hour and 45 minutes before it successfully acquired the target."
NSWC IHEODTD senior engineer and FGT test conductor Michael Spriggs said: "This latest FGT, which is the 84th we’ve conducted in the past 25 years, was in support of the RGM-109E Block IV, Vertical Launch System (VLS) full-rate production lot acceptance.
"For the test, we used a single, representative missile from the full-rate production line to demonstrate the capability of this lot to perform mission requirements. The data we collected from the test will be used to verify the manufacturing processes and quality of missiles produced.
"Preliminary assessment indicates this missile performed as expected and all test objectives were achieved."
According to NSWC IHEODTD FGT programme manager Phillip Vaughn, the next FGT is expected to be conducted later this fiscal year to sample a capsule launching system variant.
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile in service with surface ships and submarines of the US and Royal Navy for land attack warfare.
The missile is managed by Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) programme executive office for unmanned aviation and strike weapons (PEO(U&W)).
Image: A Tomahawk missile being prepared for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Facility in Indian Head, Maryland. Photo: US Navy photo by Monica McCoy/Released.