FY06 Order: $346M for 473 Tactical Tomahawk Block IV Cruise Missiles
Raytheon Company announced that it has been awarded a $346 million FY 2006 production contract increment to supply the U.S. and United Kingdom navies with the Block IV (Tactical) Tomahawk non-nuclear cruise missile. Raytheon notes that this is the third installment on a multi-year contract whose value could reach $1.6 billion. Manufacturing work will be done at Raytheon’s Missile Systems businesses in Tucson, AZ and Camden, AR, and is expected to be complete in 2009.
The Navy and Raytheon have entered into a five-year procurement contract to replenish Tomahawk inventory at the most affordable cost. The legacy program Tomahawk missile is the Navy’s weapon of choice for critical, long-range precision strike missions against high value, heavily defended targets. Other notes re: the Block IV missiles and related recent contracts include…
Block IV: The FY 2006 Order
FY 2006 production calls for 473 missiles, 65 of which are the submarine torpedo tube-launched variant for the U.K. A previous contract has already taken care of the difference in costs for the submarine-launched version.
Budgeted FY 2005 values for US missiles were $277.2 million for 298 missiles, while official DoD documents peg the allocated FY 2006 production budget at $372.4 million for 408 missiles. Those documents also indicate that in addition to the 408 missiles approved in the FY 2006 budget, production will also include 94 missiles and $75.9 million under Title IX supplemental funding.
In addition to its main production contract, Raytheon Missile Systems Co. in Tucson, AZ received a $6.7 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0569). It covers non-recurring effort required for the development and integration of the selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) capability into the anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver (AGR-4) of the Tomahawk cruise missile. In addition, this modification provides for implementation of operational embedded software changes needed to utilize the SAASM capability. Work will be performed in El Segundo, CA (70%) and Tucson, AZ (30%), and is expected to be completed in February 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD issued this contract, which falls under the $20.3 million allocated to the program in FY 2006 for research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E).
BGM-109 Block IV TLAMs: A Program Success Story
Block IV Tomahawk is the next generation of the Tomahawk family of cruise missiles, which began in the 1980s as nuclear strike weapons before being turned into long-range conventional attack missiles. Block IV is the latest variant, incorporating innovative technologies to provide new, flexible operational capability while dramatically reducing acquisition, operations and lifecycle support costs. Raytheon began delivering upgraded Block IV missiles to the U.S. Navy in mid-2004.
DID has covered a number of program improvements Block IV represents, including dropping the missile’s purchase cost by almost half and lowering maintenance requirements, while upgrading its capabilities.
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 each. 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.
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
- Zibb (Nov 29/07) – Navy Seeks New Uses For Tomahawks. Covers a number of program developments, including the potential for thermobaric (fuel-air) warheads.
- Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester Magazine (April 12/07) – Submarine-launched Tomahawk IV flight test a success
- Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester Magazine (Dec 14/06) – Tomahawk IV in West Coast Test. “The test successfully demonstrated the Tomahawk Strike Network. The Tomahawk Strike Network (TSN) is a unique aspect of the Block IV system. Utilized in this test, TSN is a communications network that provides secure connectivity among all of the participants in a strike plan. Those participants include the Block IV missile(s), the strike controller, and the missile controller. Messages are generated, sent, and received inside the network, and are monitored by a channel controller. TSN allows the strike controller to retarget the missile in flight, monitor the health and status of the missile in flight, and collect images along the route.”
- Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester Magazine (Aug 10/05) – Tomahawk program marks historic milestone
- Naval Air Station Patuxent River Tester Magazine (Oct 7/04) – New Tomahawk ready for warfighter