ATTACK CRUISE MISSILES
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile that is primarily used by the United States Navy and Royal Navy in ship and submarine-based land-attack operations.
Under contract from the U.S. Navy, the Tomahawk was designed at the APL/JHU in a project led by James Walker near Laurel, Maryland, and was first manufactured by General Dynamics in the 1970s.
It was intended to fill the role of a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a naval surface warfare platform, and featured a modular design accommodating a wide variety of warhead, guidance, and range capabilities.
At least six variants and multiple upgraded versions of the TLAM have been added since the original design was introduced, including air-, sub-, and ground-launched variants with conventional and nuclear armaments. In 1992–1994, McDonnell Douglas Corporation was the sole supplier of Tomahawk Missiles and produced Block II and Block III Tomahawk missiles and remanufactured many Tomahawks to Block III specifications.
In 1994, Hughes outbid McDonnell Douglas Aerospace to become the sole supplier of Tomahawk missiles. By 2019, the only variants in service were non-nuclear, sea-launched variants manufactured by Raytheon. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense purchased 149 Tomahawk Block IV missiles for $202.3 million.
The Tomahawk was most recently used by the U.S. Navy in the 2018 missile strikes against Syria, when 66 missiles were launched targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
Each missile is stored and launched from a pressurized canister that protects it during transportation and storage, and also serves as a launch tube. These canisters were racked in Armored Box Launchers (ABL), which were installed on the four reactivated Iowa-class battleships USS Iowa, USS New Jersey, USS Missouri, and USS Wisconsin. The ABLs were also installed on eight Spruance-class destroyers, the four Virginia-class cruisers, and the nuclear cruiser USS Long Beach. These canisters are also in vertical launching systems (VLS) in other surface ships, capsule launch systems (CLS) in the later Los Angeles-class submarine and Virginia-class submarines, and in submarines' torpedo tubes. All ABL equipped ships have been decommissioned.
For submarine-launched missiles (called UGM-109s), after being ejected by gas pressure (vertically via the VLS) or by water impulse (horizontally via the torpedo tube), a solid-fuel booster is ignited to propel the missile and guide it out of the water.
After achieving flight, the missile's wings are unfolded for lift, the airscoop is exposed and the turbofan engine is employed for cruise flight. Over
water, the Tomahawk uses inertial guidance or GPS to follow a preset course; once over land, the missile's guidance system is aided by terrain contour matching (TERCOM). Terminal guidance is provided by the Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) system or GPS, producing a claimed circular error probable of about 10 meters.
The Tomahawk Weapon System consists of the missile, Theater Mission Planning Center (TMPC)/Afloat Planning System, and either the Tomahawk Weapon Control System (on surface ships) or Combat Control System (for submarines).
Several versions of control systems have been used, including:
- v2 TWCS – Tomahawk Weapon Control System (1983), also known as "green screens," was based on an old tank computing system.
- v3 ATWCS – Advanced Tomahawk Weapon Control System (1994), first Commercial Off the Shelf, uses HP-UX.
- v4 TTWCS – Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System, (2003).
- v5 TTWCS – Next Generation Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System. (2006)
On August 18, 2019, the United States Navy conducted a test flight of a Tomahawk missile launched from a ground-based version of the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System. It was the United States' first acknowledged launch of a missile that would have violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which the Trump administration withdrew on August 2 after Russia broke it.
In 1995, the US agreed to sell 65 Tomahawks to the UK for torpedo-launch from their nuclear attack submarines. The first missiles were acquired and test-fired in November 1998; all Royal Navy fleet submarines are now Tomahawk capable, including the Astute-class. The Kosovo War in 1999 saw the Swiftsure-class HMS Splendid become the first British submarine to fire the Tomahawk in combat. The UK subsequently bought 20 more Block III to replenish stocks. The Royal Navy has since fired Tomahawks during the 2000s Afghanistan War, in Operation Telic as the British contribution to the 2003 Iraq War, and during Operation Ellamy in Libya in 2011.
In April 2004, the UK and US governments reached an agreement for the British to buy 64 of the new generation of Tomahawk missile
- the Block IV or TacTom missile. It entered service with the Royal Navy on 27 March 2008, three months ahead of schedule. In July 2014 the US approved the sale to the UK of a further 65 submarine-launched Block IV's at a cost of US$140m including spares and support; as of 2011 the Block III missiles were on British books at £1.1m and the Block IV at £0.87m including VAT.
The Sylver Vertical Launching System on the new Type 45 destroyer is claimed by its manufacturers to have the capability to fire the Tomahawk, although the A50 launcher carried by the Type 45 is too short for the weapon (the longer A70 silo would be required). Nevertheless, the Type 45 has been designed with weight and space margin for a strike-length Mk41 or Sylver A70 silo to be retrofitted, allowing Type 45 to use the TLAM Block IV if required. The new Type 26 frigates will have a strike-length Mk41 VLS and the Type 31 frigate will also be fitted for but not with the system.
In June 2022, the UK announced it would be upgrading its Tomahawk cruise missiles to Block V standard through a £265 million contract with the US government. The missiles are to be upgraded from 2024.
In September 2021, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia would acquire Tomahawks for the Royal Australian Navy's Hobart-class air warfare destroyers. In March 2023, the US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale to sale Australia of up 200 Block V and up to 20 Block IV missiles worth an estimated $US895 million.
In the 1991 Gulf War, 288 Tomahawks were launched, 12 from submarines and 276 from surface ships The first salvo was fired by the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster on January 17, 1991. The attack submarines USS Pittsburgh and USS Louisville followed.
On 17 January 1993, 46 Tomahawks were fired at the Zafraniyah Nuclear Fabrication Facility outside Baghdad, in response to Iraq's refusal to cooperate with UN disarmament inspectors. One missile crashed into the side of the Al Rasheed Hotel, killing two civilians.
On 26 June 1993, 23 Tomahawks were fired at the Iraqi Intelligence Service's command and control center.
On 10 September 1995, USS Normandy launched 13 Tomahawk missiles from the central Adriatic Sea against a key air defense radio relay tower in Bosnian Serb territory during Operation Deliberate Force.
On 3 September 1996, 44 ship-launched UGM-109 and B-52-launched AGM-86 cruise missiles were fired at air defense targets in southern Iraq.
On 20 August 1998, 79 Tomahawk missiles were fired simultaneously at two targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for the bombings of American embassies by Al-Qaeda.
On 16 December 1998, 325 Tomahawk missiles were fired at key Iraqi targets during Operation Desert Fox.
In early 1999, 218 Tomahawk missiles were fired by U.S. ships and a British submarine during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia against targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In October 2001, about 50 Tomahawk missiles struck targets in Afghanistan in the opening hours of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, more than 802 Tomahawk missiles were fired at key Iraqi targets.
On 3 March 2008, two Tomahawk missiles were fired at a target in Somalia by a US vessel during the Dobley airstrike, reportedly in an attempt to kill Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, an al Qaeda militant.
On 17 December 2009, two Tomahawk missiles were fired at targets in Yemen. One TLAM-D struck an alleged Al-Qaeda training camp in al-Ma’jalah in al-Mahfad, a region of the Abyan governorate of Yemen. Amnesty International reported that 55 people were killed in the attack, including 41 civilians (21 children, 14 women, and six men). The US and Yemen governments refused to confirm or deny involvement, but diplomatic cables released as part of United States diplomatic cables leak later confirmed the missile was fired by a U.S. Navy ship.
On 19 March 2011, 124 Tomahawk missiles were fired by U.S. and British forces (112 US, 12
British) against at least 20 Libyan targets around Tripoli and Misrata. As of 22 March 2011, 159 UGM-109 were fired by US and UK ships against Libyan targets.
On 23 September 2014, 47 Tomahawk missiles were fired by the United States from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea, which were operating from international waters in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, against ISIL targets in Syria in the vicinity of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Al-Hasakah and Abu Kamal, and against Khorasan group targets in Syria west of Aleppo.
On 13 October 2016, five Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched by USS Nitze at three radar sites in Yemen held by Houthi rebels in response to anti-ship missiles fired at US Navy ships the day before.
On 6 April 2017, 59 Tomahawk missiles were launched from USS Ross (DDG-71) and USS Porter (DDG-78), targeting Shayrat Airbase near Homs, in Syria. The strike was in response to a chemical weapons attack, an act allegedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. U.S. Central Command stated in a press release that Tomahawk missiles hit "aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, defense systems, and radars". Initial U.S. reports claimed "approximately 20 planes" were destroyed, and that 58 out of the 59 cruise missiles launched had "severely degraded or destroyed" their intended target. A later report by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis claimed that the strike destroyed about 20% of the Syrian government's operational aircraft. Syrian state-run media claimed that nine civilians, including four children living in nearby villages were killed and another seven wounded as a result of the strike after missiles fell on their homes, The Pentagon would later state civilians were not intentionally targeted. According to the satellite images the runways and the taxiways have been undamaged and combat flights from the attacked airbase resumed on 7 April a few hours after the attack, although U.S. officials did not state that the runway was a target.
An independent bomb damage assessment conducted by ImageSat International counted hits on 44 targets, with some targets being hit by more than one missile; these figures were determined using satellite images of the airbase 10 hours after the strike. However, the Russian defense ministry contends that the combat effectiveness of the attack was "extremely low"; only 23 missiles hit the base destroying six aircraft, and it did not know where the other 36 landed. Russian television news, citing a Syrian source at the airfield, said that nine planes were destroyed by the strikes (5 Su-22M3s, 1 Su-22M4, and 3 Mig-23ML) and that all planes were thought to have been out of action at the time. Al-Masdar News reported that 15 fighter jets were damaged or destroyed and that the destruction of fuel tankers caused several explosions and a large fire. Some observers conclude that the Russian government—and therefore also the Syrian government—was warned and Syria had enough time to move most of the planes to another base. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike damaged over a dozen hangars, a fuel depot, and an air defense base.
On April 14, 2018, the US launched 66 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syrian targets near Damascus and Homs, as part of the 2018 bombing of Damascus and Homs. These strikes were done in retaliation for Douma chemical attack. The United States Department of Defense said Syria fired 40 defensive missiles at the allied weapons but did not hit any targets. The Russian military said that Syrian air defenses shot down 71 of the 103 missiles launched by the US and its allies, but it was not possible to verify the claims.
CLASS SUBMARINES CHARACTERISTICS - WEAPONS & SYSTEMS
The Astute class has stowage for 38 weapons and would typically carry a mix of
Spearfish heavy torpedoes and Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles, the latter costing £870,000 each. The Tomahawk missiles are capable of hitting a target to within a few metres, to a range of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres). In May 2022, the
MOD announced that it would be upgrading these missiles to Block V standard from 2024, which boasts an extended range and modernised in-flight communication and target selection.
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Trilateral nuclear proliferation submarine pact, Australia,
Astute 1st of Class BAE
Sindhurakshak - explosion
reactors for submarines
powered submarines lost
Covert submarine hunter/killer
Autonomous wolf pack deployment of Predator mini-subs
Neptune - Astute class nuclear submarines
UUV anti submarine weapons
Kapitan Lieutenant Walther Schwieger
& U997 - Kriegsmarine Unterseeboots WWII
- U-Boat sunk near Anholt, Denmark 1945, raised (no gold)
- U-Boat declared missing in 20 April 1944 VIIC
Bluefish WWI submarine
Bluefish - Nuclear submarine
Flying Fish - Nuclear sub
Jimmy Carter - Seawolf class fast attack
Nautilus - 1st nuclear submarine &
subsea north pole passage
Scorpion - Skipjack class submarine 99 crew lost at sea
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this fictional story, the characters and events are the
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