The U.S. Navy conducted a successful first test of a submarine torpedo tube-launched Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile on its missile range off the coast of southern California March 26.
Launched from the Los Angeles-class attack submarine, USS Pasadena (SSN-752), under way in the NAVAIR Pacific Ocean Sea Range at Pt. Mugu, the missile transitioned to cruise flight and flew a satellite-guided 635-nautical mile test flight to the NAVAIR Land Range at the NAVAIR Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.
Featuring a successful re-direction of the missile in flight to an alternate flight route and an alternate target using satellite communications, the one-hour, 26-minute flight concluded with a commanded 60-degree dive to the new aim point on the target.
The event demonstrates ‘‘Tomahawk’s full range of capability, as well as the government⁄ industry team’s commitment to excellence,” remarked program manager Capt. Rick McQueen.
‘‘Like the Block III missile, the Block IV Torpedo tube launch missile is an all-weather, highly reliable and survivable cruise missile that can be launched from submarines,” McQueen added. ‘‘The redesign brings improvements to missile navigation, guidance, and communications subsystems.”
As in all Tomahawk flight tests, air route safety was carefully planned in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration. For safety purposes, the Tomahawk could have been guided by commands from safety chase aircraft.
The Tomahawk cruise missile is a surface ship and submarine-launched long-range, subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare. It is designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and can be flown on evasive routes by several mission-tailored guidance systems. Tomahawk missiles are deployed throughout the world’s oceans on numerous surface ships and submarines, including Aegis cruisers, guided missile destroyers, and Seawolf and Los Angeles-class submarines.
The Tomahawk program is managed by the Program Executive Officer for Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation located here. The missile is manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz.
Tomahawk is a registered trademark of the United States Navy.
(This article was submitted by PEO(W) Public Affairs.)