Raytheon press release
“This award is a significant and essential step toward addressing the U.S. Navy’s need to counter moving targets at sea,” said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Maritime Strike Tomahawk Block Va production ensures our Sailors have the most advanced long-range, first-strike weapons available to defeat advancing threats.”
The Tomahawk cruise missile is a precision weapon that launches from ships and submarines and can strike targets precisely from 1,000 miles away, even in heavily defended airspace. U.S. and allied militaries have flight-tested the GPS-enabled Tomahawk 550 times and used it in combat more than 2,300 times. Its most recent use came in 2018, when U.S. Navy warships and submarines launched 66 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian chemical weapon facilities.
Naval News comments:
U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) was the first to launch and operationally test a Block V Tomahawk cruise missile in December 2020.
All Tomahawk Block IVs are being upgraded to Block V with longer range and dynamic targeting with the capability to hit vessels at sea (maritime strike role). Raytheon is recertifying and modernizing the missile, extending its service life by 15 years, and resulting in the new Tomahawk Block V series:
- Block V: A modernized TACTOM with upgraded navigation and communication
- Block Va: Block V that can strike moving targets at sea
- Block Vb:Block V, with a joint multi-effects warhead that can hit more diverse land targets
The Tomahawk IV – known in the Royal Navy as TLAM (Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile) – allows submarines and surface vessels to strike at ground targets hundreds of miles inland with pinpoint accuracy. Tomahawk IV has a longer range than its predecessors (well in excess of 1,000 miles), can be directed at a new target in mid-flight, and can also beam back images of the battlefield to its mother submarine.
According to Raytheon, U.S. and allied militaries have flight-tested the GPS-enabled Tomahawk 550 times and used it in combat more than 2,300 times. Its most recent use came in 2018, when U.S. Navy warships and submarines launched 66 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian chemical weapon facilities.