BGM-109 Tomahawk

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With booster: 6.25 m

The BGM-109 Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a submerged submarine. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures and acquisitions, is now made by Raytheon. Some Tomahawks were also manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing Defense, Space & Security).[2][3]

Contents

Description

The Tomahawk missile family consists of a number of subsonic, jet engine-powered missiles for attacking a variety of surface targets. Although a number of launch platforms have been deployed or envisaged, only naval (both surface ship and submarine) launched variants are currently in service. Tomahawk has a modular design, allowing a wide variety of warhead, guidance and range capabilities.

Variants

There have been several variants of the BGM-109 Tomahawk employing various types of warheads.

  • BGM-109A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile - Nuclear (TLAM-N) with a W80 nuclear warhead
  • RGM/UGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TASM) - radar guided anti-shipping variant
  • BGM-109C Tomahawk Land Attack Missile - Conventional (TLAM-C) with a unitary warhead
  • BGM-109D Tomahawk Land Attack Missile - Dispenser (TLAM-D) with submunitions
  • RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM Block IV) - improved version of the TLAM-C
  • BGM-109G Gryphon Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) - withdrawn from service
  • AGM-109H/L Medium Range Air to Surface Missile (MRASM) - a shorter range, turbojet powered ASM, never entered service

Ground Launch Cruise Missiles (GLCM) and their truck-like launch vehicles were destroyed to comply with the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Many of the anti-ship versions were converted into TLAMs at the end of the Cold War. The Block III TLAMs that entered service in 1993 can fly farther and use Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to strike more precisely. Block IV TLAMs have a better Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) system as well as improved turbofan engines. The WR-402 engine provided the new BLK III with a throttle control, allowing in-flight speed changes. This engine also provided better fuel economy. The Block IV Phase II TLAMs have better deep-strike capabilities and are equipped with a real-time targeting system for striking moving targets.

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