The first generation Tomahawk Block V cruise missile was recently delivered by Raytheon Missiles & Defense to the U.S. Navy. The new version of the well-known cruise missile includes improved navigation and communications capabilities with the launcher.
The Tomahawk Block V cruise missile is a GPS-guided precision weapon launched from warships and submarines to hit land targets accurately at distances up to 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away through an extremely dense enemy air defense network. It hits high-value targets with minimal collateral damage. The U.S. Navy has re-certified and modernized the missile’s electronic components, extending its service life by another 15 years and resulting in a new series known as Block V.
“This first delivery marks the culmination of years of teamwork between the Navy and Raytheon, and it’s the start of a tremendous new era for the program,” said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business. “These upgrades will extend the advantages Tomahawk provides the fleet for years to come.”
Among the improvements, the mature, highly advanced Block IV variant is upgraded with improved navigation and communications systems. A multimode seeker is in development that will allow Tomahawk to engage moving targets at sea. In addition, a programmable warhead strengthens the missile’s capabilities to hit targets inland.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense is also expanding Tomahawk’s long-range, land-attack capability with a programmable warhead that can hit more diverse land targets.
In December 2020, the U.S. Navy fired test shots with the Block V variant. All Block IV missiles will be re-certified, modernized, and delivered as Block V missiles.
The Tomahawk cruise missile is the main attack missile weapon of the U.S. Navy: it is actively used by both surface ships and submarines. The basic version of the rocket was put into service in 1983. To date, more than seven thousand of these missiles of various modifications have been produced.