$29.3M to Recertify 150 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
Raytheon Missile Systems Co. in Tucson, AZ received a $29.3 million firm-fixed priced delivery order against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. This order provides for the full recertification of 150 All-Up-Round (AUR) Tomahawk Missiles, Pre/Post Flight Operational Test Launch Support, Systems Engineering Integration Agent support and fixed support for Encanisterization/ Decanisterization of MK-14 AUR Missiles.
Now, what’s an All-Up Round, aqnd how does this seemingly minor contract actually tie in to one of the DoD’s greatest acquisition success stories in recent years? DID explains.
The Tomahawk AUR missile is delivered to ships and submarines as an all-up-round (AUR), which includes the missile that flies the mission, the booster that starts its flight, and the container (canister for ships and capsule for submarines) that protects it during transportation, storage and stowage, and acts as a launch tube. The program (PMA-280) is one of the USA’s acquisition success stories, and has expended considerable effort in the areas of certification and recertification.
The Tomahawk All-Up-Round program has “cradle-to-grave” responsibility for Tomahawk, including the logistics management of in-service missiles. Incidents like the attacks on the USS Cole and USS Stark brought issues such as serviceability certification after major physical shock to the fore, while considerable extension of the missiles’ planned lifecycle added other certification and reliability challenges.
Capt. Bob Novak, who was the Tomahawk All-Up-Round (PMA-280) program manager until August 2005, began leading the Tomahawk AUR program team in 2002 during a critical time in the development of the Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile. Under his leadership the program awarded the Navy’s first-ever weapons multi-year contract, and was estimated to have reduced the cost per missile from Block III to Block IV by almost 50%, saving $1 billion over planned lifetime costs while upgrading the missile’s capabilities. While reducing the Block IV Tactical Tomahawk’s purchase costs, improved design and manufacturing also reduced maintenance/ recertification requirements from once every 8 years for Block III missiles to once every 15 years.
PMA-280 was honored with several prominent awards, including the Secretary of Defense Value Engineering Award, the Daedalian Award, and the Ed Heinemann Award.
One important new capability that Block IV Tomahawk brings to the US Navy’s Sea Strike capability is derived from the missile’s two-way satellite data link, which enables the missile to respond to changing battlefield conditions. The strike controller can “flex” the missile in flight to preprogrammed alternate targets, redirect it to a new target, or even have it loiter over the battlefield awaiting a more critical target. Block IV Tomahawks can also transmit battle damage indication imagery and missile health and status messages via the satellite data link, allowing firing platforms to execute missions in real time.
Global Positioning System-only missions are also possible in addition to the missile’s previous terrain-mapping guidance mode, thanks to an improved anti-jam GPS receiver for enhanced mission performance.
The majority of Tomahawk cruise missiles are currently launched by Navy surface vessels, such as the Ticonderoga Class (CG-47) cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class (DDG-51) destroyers. The later series of Improved Los Angeles Class (SSN-688I) and the newest Virginia Class (SSN-744) attack submarines are also armed with 12 dedicated Tomahawk launch tubes, while earlier Los Angeles boats and the newest Seawolf Class (SSN-21) have to sacrifice some of their stored torpedoes to carry and launch Tomahawks through their torpedo tubes. But the USA’s premier Tomahawk carrier vehicle in future will be the Ohio Class SSGN stealth strike subs, with launch capacity for an astounding 154 Tactical Tomahawks. The USS Ohio has just rejoined the fleet, and its three sister ships will follow suit over the next two years as their conversions are completed.
Work on this Tomahawk recertification contract will be performed in Tucson, AZ (80%) and Camden, AR (20%), and is expected to be complete in April 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00019-06-D-0001).
Additional Readings & Sources
- US Navy PMA-280 – Tomahawk All Up Round. Includes weapons details for Block III and Block IV weapons.
- PMA-280 Tomahawk missile timeline. Covers all versions.
- Globalsecurity.org – BGM-109 Tomahawk
- DoN Acquisition One Source – Reducing Cost/Schedule for TOMAHAWK All-Up-Round Program
- US Navy (Nov 16/09) – Tomahawk Test Demonstrates Time-Critical Use
- Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester Magazine (Aug 11/05) – Tomahawk program marks historic milestone
- Mide Corp (May 3/04) – Low Cost Missile Environment Environment Monitor (LCMEM) [PDF | Google HTML cache]