Skip to comments.Tactical Tomahawk Soars Through Second Contractor Test Flight
Posted on 11/18/2002 5:03:44 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
CHINA LAKE, Calif. (NNS) -- The highest standard in warfare technology was demonstrated recently in the second contractor flight test of the Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile at the Naval Air System Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex in Southern California.
This flight marked the successful completion of the Tactical Tomahawk contractor flight-testing phase and paves the way for entry into formal government technical evaluation.
The missile was launched vertically from a fixed underwater launcher, demonstrating its operational submerged launch capability. The missile broached the ocean's surface and successfully demonstrated shroud separation, rocket motor firing/separation and deployment of fins, inlet duct and wings. It transitioned to cruise flight and flew a fully guided 780-mile flight using global positioning system (GPS), terrain contour matching, and digital scene matching area correlation navigation updates, and demonstrated its GPS anti-jamming performance capability.
The Tactical Tomahawk successfully executed its terminal dive maneuver and impacted the target structure as planned.
The Tactical Tomahawk, or block IV, is the latest variant of the Navy's premiere cruise missile, due to reach the fleet in 2004. The Tomahawk is ship and submarine launched, and was first employed operationally during Desert Storm. Since then, the missile has been heralded for its accuracy and lethality. The enhanced capabilities of Tactical Tomahawk will increase fleet effectiveness, while significantly reducing acquisition and life cycle costs.
"Completion of this second flight test proves that the Tactical Tomahawk design is well on its way to providing the fleet with the most technologically advanced land attack cruise missile ever built," said Navy Capt. Bob Novak, program manager for the Tomahawk all-up-round missile. "I am extremely proud of this government/industry team. Their efforts will put absolute combat power and flexibility into the hands of the fleet in the near future. Simply put, Tactical Tomahawk will be a centerpiece of an unheard of revolution in strike warfare planning and execution."
As in all Tomahawk flight tests, air route safety was carefully planned in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration. For safety purposes, the missile could have been guided by commands from safety chase aircraft.
The launch marked the 402nd Tomahawk flight test.
The Tomahawk program is managed by the program executive office, strike weapons and unmanned aviation. The manufacturer of the Tomahawk is Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz. Tomahawk is a registered trademark of the U.S. Navy.
NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technology through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts.
For related news, visit the NAVAIR - Naval Air Systems Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/NAVAIR .
The improvement with the tactical tomahawk is its accuracy and the ability to have its mission changed in mid-flight. I've also read that the new Tomahawk is easier and faster to program, so mission-planning and preparation times are greatly reduced.