Raytheon Co., one of the world’s largest defense contractors, was awarded a contract from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command for Tomahawk upgrade.
The Department of Defense announced on Friday an agreement worth about $493 million for recertification and modernization of Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM) Block IV all-up round missiles to include the integration of navigation and communication kits that result in a modernized TACTOM Block V missile.
“Additionally, this contract provides for spare recertification, obsolescence and health monitoring, TACTOM depot, flight test and engineering support services alongside associated hardware procurements,” the DoD message states.
Also, Raytheon Missile Systems, is awarded a $147,8 million contract for the full rate production and delivery of 90 Lot 16 Block V Tactical Tomahawk (TACTOM) All Up Round (AUR) Vertical Launch System missiles and other hardware and related services for the Navy. Additionally, this contract procures TACTOM Block IV AUR recertification AGR-4 Spares.
Block IV Tomahawk is the current generation of the Tomahawk family of cruise missiles. The Tomahawk cruise missile is a precision weapon that launches from ships and submarines and can strike targets precisely from 1,000 miles away, even in heavily defended airspace.
Block IV reportedly increases missile range to 900 nautical miles, but it only uses the unitary warhead. Mission planning has been cut from 80 hours to just 1 hour, which makes a big difference to combat usage. The missile also has a 2-way UHF SATCOM datalink that allows the missile to be redirected in flight, or commanded to loiter over an area and wait for instructions from a Fleet HQ’s Maritime Operations Center.
U.S. and allied militaries have flight-tested the GPS-enabled Tomahawk 550 times and used it in combat more than 2,300 times. Its most recent use came in 2018, when U.S. Navy warships and submarines launched 66 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian chemical weapon facilities.