Sunday, May 22, 2011

BGM-109 Tomahawk

| Sunday, May 22, 2011 | 0 comments

The Tomahawk is an all-weather submarine or ship-launched land-attack cruise missile. First introduced in 1970 by General Dynamics, this missile (missiles) are designed for medium and long distances, capable of flying low and can also be launched from land and underwater. After launch, a solid propellant propels the missile until a small turbofan engine takes over for the cruise portion of flight. Tomahawk is a highly survivable weapon. Radar detection is difficult because of the missile's small cross-section, low altitude flight. Similarly, infrared detection is difficult because the turbofan engine emits little heat. Systems include Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver; an upgrade of the optical Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) system; Time of Arrival (TOA) control, and improved 402 turbo engines.

The Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile has been used to attack a variety of fixed targets, including air defense and communications sites, often in high-threat environments. The land attack version of Tomahawk has inertial and terrain contour matching (TERCOM) radar guidance. The TERCOM radar uses a stored map reference to compare with the actual terrain to determine the missile's position. If necessary, a course correction is then made to place the missile on course to the target. Terminal guidance in the target area is provided by the optical Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) system, which compares a stored image of target with the actual target image.

The Tomahawk missile provides a long-range, highly survivable, unmanned land attack weapon system capable of pinpoint accuracy. The Surface Navy's deep strike capability resides in the Tomahawk missile system - the proven weapon of choice for contingency missions.

Tomahawk's operational environment is changing significantly. The first operational design involved global warfare using conventional Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) against known, fixed, non-hardened targets. The strategic assumptions underlying this environment continue to change. Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) capability is evolving into major systems with expanding capabilities. Today, Tomahawk is able to respond to rapidly developing scenarios and attack emerging land-based targets. A more diverse threat coupled with a smaller U.S. force structure place an absolute premium on system flexibility and responsiveness.

The projected operational environment for Tomahawk is now characterized by scenarios in which the U.S. Navy will most likely be called upon to defend U.S. interests in regional conflicts, in crisis response, or to execute national policy. Tomahawk will operate from littoral seas as an integral part of joint forces.

Primary Function: Long-range subsonic cruise missile for attacking land targets.
Contractor: Hughes Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz.
Power Plant: Williams International F107-WR-402 cruise turbo-fan engine; solid-fuel booster
Length: 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 meters); with booster: 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 meters)
Weight: 2,650 pounds (1192.5 kg); 3,200 pounds (1440 kg) with booster
Diameter: 20.4 inches (51.81 cm)
Wing Span: 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 meters)
Range: Land attack, conventional warhead: 600 nautical miles (690 statute miles, 1104 km)
Speed: Subsonic - about 550 mph (880 km/h)
Guidance System: Inertial and TERCOM
Warheads: Conventional: 1,000 pounds Bullpup, or Conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets, or WDU-36 warhead w/ PBXN-107 explosive & FMU-148 fuze, or 200 kt. W-80 nuclear device


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