Dubbed the “Cold War warrior”, the Tomahawk Block V cruise missile is confidently entering a power struggle in the era of hypersonic missiles.
Since the Gulf war, the Tomahawk cruise missile is now the standard weapon of the US Navy and is equipped on nearly all surface ships and submarines.
The Tomahawk cruise missile has been in service with the US Military since 1983, for the past 30 years it has been constantly improving and becoming more and more powerful. Up to now, there have been many variants, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, launched from ground-launched systems, surface ships or submarines.
Tomahawk Block V
Tomahawk Block V is considered different from all other Tomahawks. Tomahawk Block V comes in two versions.
The first version – Block Va anti-ship version being the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) which allows the missile to engage a moving target at sea.
The Block Vb – this is a “classic” Tomahawk type with a warhead that strikes the target on land. It outfitted with the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System for hard-target penetration.
All Block IV Tomahawks will be converted to Block V standard, while the remaining Block III missiles will be retired and demilitarized.
Raytheon’s Tomahawk Block V, when fully realized in its Block Va and Block Vb varieties, will be expected to hit surface ships at ranges exceeding 1,000 miles (1,609 km).
According to Defense News, Tomahawk’s range is especially important in the Asia-Pacific, where China’s rocket force has extraordinary reach with its DF-26 and DF-21 missiles, with ranges of 2,490 and 1,335 miles respectively, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The missiles are destined not just for the VLS launchers of surface ships but also on attack submarines.
Block V is designed to increase survivability. The Tomahawk Block V has an upgraded communication and navigation system that makes counterattacking and electronic detection more difficult. It is also capable of handling interference more efficiently, thereby increasing survivability. The missile also increases the resistance of the enemy’s radar. In addition, an upgrade of the navigation system will ensure the missile can hit the target even when GPS is disabled.
|Manufacturer||General Dynamics (initially)|
Hughes Aircraft Corporation
|Unit cost||$1.87M (FY2017) (Block IV) $1,537,645 (FY2021) (Block V)|
|Mass||2,900 lb (1,300 kg), 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) with booster|
|Length||Without booster: 18 ft 3 in (5.56 m) With booster: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)|
|Diameter||20.4 in (0.52 m)|
|Warhead||Nuclear: W80 warhead (retired)|
Conventional: 1,000 pounds (450 kg) high explosive or submunition dispenser with BLU-97/B Combined Effects Bomb or PBXN
|FMU-148 since TLAM Block III, others for special applications|
|Engine||Williams International F107-WR-402 turbofan|
using TH-dimer fuel
and a solid-fuel rocket booster
|Wingspan||8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)|
|Block II TLAM-A – 1,350 nmi (1,550 mi; 2,500 km) Block III TLAM-C, Block IV TLAM-E – 900 nmi (1,000 mi; 1,700 km) Block III TLAM-D – 700 nmi (810 mi; 1,300 km)|
|Flight altitude||98–164 ft (30–50 m) AGL|
|Maximum speed||Subsonic; ~Mach 0.74. about 550 mph (480 kn; 890 km/h)|
|GPS, INS, TERCOM, DSMAC, active radar homing (RGM/UGM-109B)|
|Vertical Launch System (VLS) and horizontal submarine torpedo tubes (known as TTL (torpedo tube launch))|