USN receives first Block V Tomahawk cruise missile

by Richard Scott

The US Navy (USN) has taken delivery of its first Tomahawk cruise missile recertified and upgraded to Block V standard.

Raytheon Missile & Defense signed over the all-up-round – part of a first batch of Block IV missiles received for recertification – to the Naval Air Systems Command’s Tomahawk Weapons System Program Office (PMA-280) on 25 March in a virtual handover ceremony. The Block V variant embodies an upgraded navigation/communication (NAV/COMMs) package to deliver enhanced navigation performance and more robust and reliable communications.

A Block V Tomahawk off the recertification production line at Raytheon’s Camden, Arkansas, facility in March 2021. ( Raytheon Technologies)

A Block V Tomahawk off the recertification production line at Raytheon’s Camden, Arkansas, facility in March 2021. ( Raytheon Technologies)

Raytheon is conducting the mid-life recertification process at its Camden, Arkansas, facility. All current configured Tomahawk Block IV missiles in the USN inventory will be transitioned to Block V standard as they become due for their 15-year mid-life recertification (the recertification inventory objective is 3,992 missiles).

In addition, new-build Block V missiles from production Lot 16 are due to start deliveries later in 2021.

Prior to the start of the series recertification programme, an initial batch of five Block IV missiles was inducted to prime and prove the recertification kit embodiment process: one of these weapons is being retained as a process verification and laboratory support asset, with the other four allocated for activities to demonstrate the capabilities of the modernised missile.

Block V operational flight tests were performed off the US west coast late last year. The DDG-51 Flight IIA guided missile destroyer USS Chafee

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The US Navy (USN) has taken delivery of its first Tomahawk cruise missile recertified and upgraded t...

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