Ground Warfare

US Army RCCTO Fires Tomahawk from New Truck-Mounted Mobile Launcher

US Army RCCTO Fires Tomahawk from New Truck-Mounted Mobile Launcher
US Army RCCTO Fires Tomahawk from New Truck-Mounted Mobile Launcher

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) Mid-Range Capability Project Office, in conjunction with Soldiers from 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, and the U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, successfully demonstrated the launch of a Tomahawk missile from the Army’s prototype Mid-Range Capability system. Soldiers assigned to 1st Multi-Domain Task Force conducted this live-fire event in which successful communications from the Battery Operations Center to the Launcher resulted in the launch of a Tomahawk missile. This test follows the successful launch of an SM-6 missile from the Mid-Range Capability system earlier this year, confirming the full operational capability of the system.

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

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.

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 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.

U.S. Army's prototype Mid-Range Capability system.
U.S. Army’s prototype Mid-Range Capability system. (Photo by U.S. Army)

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