Raytheon Maritime Strike Tomahawk
Raytheon Maritime Strike Tomahawk

Raytheon Awarded 19 Million Contract to Test and Field Maritime Strike Tomahawk Seeker Suites

Raytheon Technologies, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $19,595,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification adds scope to integrate, produce, qualify, test and field Maritime Strike Tomahawk seeker suites and all subsystems required to provide midcourse and terminal guidance to a modernized tactical Tomahawk missile for prosecution of maritime targets from surface and subsurface platforms. The procured quantity of seeker suites will be installed in recertified Tomahawk missiles for the Navy. Work is expected to be completed in October 2024. Fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (U.S. Navy) funds in the amount of $19,595,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile that is primarily used by the United States Navy and Royal Navy in ship- and submarine-based land-attack operations. Designed at APL/JHU, it was initially produced in the 1970s by General Dynamics as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. The missile’s modular design accommodates a wide variety of warhead, guidance, and range capabilities. At least six variants and multiple upgraded versions have been introduced since then, including air-, sub-, and ground-launched variants and conventional and nuclear-armed ones. As of 2019, only non-nuclear, sea-launched variants assembled by Raytheon are currently in service.

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Raytheon Maritime Strike Tomahawk
A synthetically guided Tomahawk® cruise missile successfully hits a moving maritime target after being launched from the USS Kidd (DDG 100) near San Nicolas Island in California. The missile altered its course toward the target after receiving position updates from surveillance aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo)

The first Block IV TLAMs modified with a maritime attack capability will enter service in 2021. A supersonic version of the Tomahawk is under consideration for development with a ramjet to increase its speed to Mach 3. A limiting factor to this is the dimensions of shipboard launch tubes. Instead of modifying every ship able to carry cruise missiles, the ramjet-powered Tomahawk would still have to fit within a 21-inch-diameter and 20-foot-long tube. In October 2015, Raytheon announced the Tomahawk had demonstrated new capabilities in a test launch, using its onboard camera to take a reconnaissance photo and transmit it to fleet headquarters. It then entered a loitering pattern until given new targeting coordinates to strike.

A supersonic version of the Tomahawk is under consideration for development with a ramjet to increase its speed to Mach 3. A limiting factor to this is the dimensions of shipboard launch tubes. Instead of modifying every ship able to carry cruise missiles, the ramjet-powered Tomahawk would still have to fit within a 21-inch-diameter and 20-foot-long tube. Tomahawk Block V was introduced in 2021 with improvements to navigation and in-flight targeting. Block Va, the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) which allows the missile to engage a moving target at sea, and Block Vb outfitted with the JMEWS warhead for hard-target penetration, will be released after the initial batch of Block V is delivered in March 2021. All Block IV Tomahawks will be converted to Block V standard, while the remaining Block III missiles will be retired and demilitarized.

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