U.S. Navy Vinson strike group guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) launches a Block V Tomahawk missile off the coast of California.
U.S. Navy Vinson strike group guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) launches a Block V Tomahawk missile off the coast of California.

US Navy Awards First Ever Multi-service Contract for Tomahawk Weapons System

The U.S. Navy awarded a $217.1 million contract May 24 to Raytheon Missile Systems to deliver 154 Tomahawk missiles to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army by 2025. The Tomahawk program office used Economy Act 31 USC 1535 and 1536 which allows one agency to obtain goods with another agency under certain circumstances. Congress passed this act in 1932 to obtain economies of scale and eliminate overlapping activities of the federal government. The Full Rate Production (FRP) contract, Lot 18, marks the first multi-service procurement for Tomahawk, which further expands integration into new firing platforms for the Marine Corps and Army.

The Marine Corps is developing and fielding a ground based Tomahawk launcher. This contract includes procurement of missiles to support stand up of the new Marine Corps units. PMA-280 worked closely with the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to execute the contract in an effort to deliver the missiles on an accelerated schedule. The Army is leveraging PMA-280’s ongoing modernization efforts, investment strategies, and joint test events for its Mid-Range Capability program, a system that is on track to be delivered to its first Army unit in FY23. FRP Lot 18 will be in the Block V configuration which features a NAV/COMMS upgrade that maintains the capability for in-flight updates and improved navigation.

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Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System (HCDS)
Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launch System (HCDS)

The Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile capabilities will include the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant and the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS). The JMEWS program is designed to deliver a warhead that will give the Tactical Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile all of the same blast-fragmentation capabilities that make it a formidable weapon today and to introduce enhanced penetration capabilities into a single warhead. Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM) is the nation’s premier, all-weather, long-range, deep-strike offensive weapon against fixed and mobile targets, launched from surface, subsurface and ground platforms.

The Future Block V provides an expanded array of operational capabilities while reducing acquisition, operations and support costs. The missile has a two-way satellite data link that enables it to respond to changing battlefield conditions. The strike controller can divert the missile in flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target. The controller can also command the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile to loiter over the battlefield until a target is identified as well as reprogram JMEWS fuzing for optimal lethality against this newly identified target. The missile also can transmit battle damage imagery and missile telemetry information via the satellite data link.

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