With a new air war in the offing, the U.S. Navy placed a $251-million contract with Raytheon Company for Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014, with an option for 2015. According to the terms of the contract, Raytheon will manufacture and supply Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and Great Britain’ Royal Navy.
Also, Raytheon will also conduct flight tests and provide life-cycle support for the missile.
Production and delivery of the missiles will begin in 2015. While Raytheon is based in Massachusetts, the Tomahawk missiles are manufactured at its Missile Systems plant in Tucson, AZ.
"Tomahawk Block IV continues to be our nation's weapon of choice to defeat high-value targets and integrated air-defense systems," stated Capt. Joseph Mauser, U.S. Navy Tomahawk program manager. "With more than 2,000 combat missions and 500 successful flight tests, Tomahawk has proven its outstanding reliability and effectiveness."
The Tomahawk Block IV is the current model of the long-range cruise missile first introduced in 1983. It’s capable of being launched from the ground or a submarine, with a range over 1,000 miles for precision strikes. It’s in place on all major U.S. surface combatants and U.S. and U.K. submarine platforms, including the Los Angeles, Virginia and Ohio, Astute and Trafalgar class submarines.
The current cost is reported to be $1.59 million per missile.
The Block IV version has been in service since 2008. Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy and Raytheon completed successful back-to-back Tomahawk cruise missile flight tests, validating recent software improvements that the manufacturer said improve the weapon system’s performance.
Now, the Tomahawk Block IV missile includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables a strike controller to “flex” the missile in-flight to a preprogrammed, alternate target, or to redirect it to an alternate or more time critical target.
"Tomahawk's record of reliability, effectiveness, and accuracy is unmatched by any other tactical cruise missile in the world today," according to Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president.