The Navy is moving closer to having a sea-launched, anti-ship cruise missile able to change course in flight and hit moving ship targets from distances up to 1,000 miles, according to two recent Tomahawk Block IV tests at China Lake, California.
“The USS Kidd, one of our guided missile destroyers, launched a Tomahawk missile that changed course mid-flight and struck a moving ship after being queued by an aircraft,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said in a recent speech at the U.S. Naval Institute. “Now, this is potentially game-changing capability for not a lot of cost. It’s a 1,000 mile anti-ship cruise missile. It can be used from practically our entire surface and submarine fleet.
The two tests, which involved firing Tomahawk Block IV missiles against land and sea targets, were conducted by the Navy and Raytheon at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif., in January of this year.
During the first test, a Tomahawk missile fired from the USS Kidd, a guided missile destroyer, and received real-time target information relayed from a surveillance aircraft to a weapons station at China Lake. Updated target information was related to the Tomahawk in flight before the missile then maneuvered and changed course from a pre-planned mission toward a new target, striking a moving ship on the water.
“This demonstration is the first step toward evolving Tomahawk with improved network capability and extends its reach from fixed and mobile to moving targets,” a statement from Raytheon said. (Read more from “Tomahawk Cruise Missile Hits Moving Ship Target” HERE)