BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile
BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile

Raytheon to Produce 30 Block V Tomahawk Cruise Missile Launchers for US Army

Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded a $217,121,769 fixed-price-incentive, firm-fixed-price contract. This contract procures 154 full-rate production Block V Tactical Tomahawk All Up Round Vertical Launch System missiles as follows: 70 for the U.S. Navy, 54 for the U.S. Marine Corps, and 30 for the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army is developing land-based Tomahawk cruise missile launcher under its Typhon Mid-Range Capability program. Each launcher will be capable of firing four missiles. Each Typhoon battery will have four launchers. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

The Mid-Range Capability (MRC) Battery Operations Center (BOC) will also be trailer-mounted and pulled by an M983A4. A trailer-mounted reloading system, able to carry at least four canisterized missiles. It is somewhat interesting to compare this overall battery composition to that of the U.S. Air Force’s Ground Launch Cruise Missile (GLCM). The GLCM weapon system featured BGM-109G Gryphon variants of the Tomahawk loaded into four-round trailer-mounted launchers. The MRC prototype, consisting of launchers, missiles, and a battery operations center (BOC), will be fielded to an operational battery in Fiscal Year 2023.

The full Typhon briefing slide from the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office presentation. (Photo by U.S. Army)

Typhon is just one part of a large push by the U.S. Army to develop and field a variety of new long-range strike capabilities. The service has already outlined plans for including an MRC battery in a future Strategic Fires Battalion construct, together with a battery armed with Dark Eagle hypersonic missiles and another with the combat-proven High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). A new long-range missile, the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), is in development now for use with the HIMARS launcher, as well. The U.S. Army sees Typhon as key a contribution the service will make in any future high-end conflict against near-peer adversaries, such as China or Russia.

The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile that is primarily used by the United States Navy and Royal Navy in ship- and submarine-based land-attack operations. The Block IV Tomahawk is the current generation of the Tomahawk family of cruise missiles. The BGM-109 Tomahawk family began life in the 1980s as sub-sonic, low-flying nuclear strike weapons, before being developed into long-range RGM/UGM-109 conventional attack missiles. That’s why the Block IV program, under US Navy PMA-280, has been one of the USA’s defense acquisition success stories over the last decade.