Raytheon has been awarded a $119 million US Navy contract
to develop an anti-ship variant of the Tomahawk missile
. Work to be undertaken by the company in the Maritime Strike Tomahawk program includes analysis, trade studies, architecture, modeling, simulation development, evaluation, and prototyping activities for the integration of seeker suite technology and processing capabilities into the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV All-Up-Round missile system. The majority of the work will be undertaken at Tucson, Arizona, in addition to Dallas, Texas, Boulder, Colorado, and various other locations inside and outside the US. Completion is scheduled for August 2019. The Navy currently uses the Tomahawk on its surface combatants and submarines, but now wants Raytheon to modify the Tomahawk's targeting system so it can strike moving naval targets, thus giving the service a long-range anti-ship capability.
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. They’re most frequently launched from submarines and surface ships, and have been the US Navy’s preferred option for initial air strikes in Iraq, Libya, et. al. Britain has also bought Tomahawk missiles, and launches them exclusively from submarines.
Block IV is the latest variant. It adds innovative technologies that improve combat flexibility, while dramatically reducing the costs to buy, operate, and support these 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.