The US Navy has awarded Raytheon a $119 million contract to begin integrating a new multi-mode seeker into the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile to enable the weapon to engage moving maritime targets.
FILE PHOTO: Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a Tomahawk on 7 April 2017 near Rota, Spain. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price.
USN is conducting the new seeker development as a Rapid Deployment Capability program to meet urgent fleet requirements for defeating emerging maritime threats worldwide.
Raytheon is expected to deliver this new capability by 2022.
Tomahawk program manager at US Naval Air Systems Command Captain Mark Johnson said the US Navy and Raytheon were working closely together to further enhance this modern missile, keeping Tomahawk in the fleet for decades to come.
“No other weapon on earth can match this cruise missile’s capability,” Captain Johnson said.
“Proven thousands of times in combat, Tomahawk is the nation’s weapon of choice.”
Launched from ships or submarines, the Tomahawk missile can fly into heavily defended airspace 1000 statute miles away to conduct precise strikes on high-value targets with minimal collateral damage.
Raytheon Tomahawk program director Dave Adams said Tomahawk’s new multi-mode seeker would add even more capability to the already-advanced missile.
“Tomahawk is second to none in destroying stationary land targets, and soon the weapon will defeat moving maritime targets,” he said.
“Enemy vessels at sea will not elude Tomahawk.”
Raytheon is already modernising Tomahawk’s radio suite and software under a separate Navy contract.
Recertification on the first Tomahawk Block IVs is set to begin in 2019.
That process will extend Tomahawk’s service life for 15 years and enable Raytheon to make further enhancements to the missile.
Raytheon delivered the 4000th Tomahawk Block IV to the US Navy last month.