Raytheon gets $346M for new Tomahawk missile production

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Raytheon Company has been awarded a $346 million contract increment to supply the U.S. and United Kingdom navies with the Block IV (Tactical) Tomahawk cruise missile. This is the third installment on a multi-year contract whose value could reach $1.6 billion.

The fiscal year 2006 production contract calls for production of 473 missiles, 65 of which are the submarine torpedo tube-launched variant for the U.K. Manufacturing work will be done at Raytheon's Missile Systems businesses in Tucson, Ariz., and Camden, Ark., and is expected to be completed in 2009. Raytheon began delivering Block IV missiles to the U.S. Navy in mid-2004.

Block IV Tomahawk is the next generation of the Tomahawk family of cruise missiles, incorporating innovative technologies to provide new, flexible operational capability while dramatically reducing acquisition, operations and lifecycle support costs.

Raytheon Company, with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.

Block IV Tomahawk is the centerpiece of the Navy's new Tomahawk Baseline IV Weapons System. The system integrates the Block IV missile with improved mission planning and platform weapons control capabilities. This latest version of the Navy's surface- and submarine-launched precision strike standoff weapon incorporates innovative technologies to provide unprecedented operational capabilities while dramatically reducing acquisition, operations and support costs. The Block IV missile has a 15-year warranty and recertification cycle, compared with the Block III variant's eight-year recertification cycle.

The new capabilities that Block IV Tomahawk brings to the Navy's sea strike capability are derived from the missile's two-way satellite data link that enables the missile to respond to changing battlefield conditions. The strike controller can "flex" the missile in flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target. This targeting flexibility includes the capability to loiter over the battlefield awaiting a more critical target. The missile can also transmit battle damage indication imagery and missile health and status messages via the satellite data link. For the first time, firing platforms will have the capability to plan and execute missions. This new capability will provide Global Positioning System-only missions. Block IV will also introduce an improved anti-jam GPS receiver for enhanced mission performance.

The Navy and Raytheon have entered into a five-year procurement contract to replenish Tomahawk inventory at the most affordable cost. The legacy program Tomahawk missile is the Navy's weapon of choice for critical, long-range precision strike missions against high value, heavily defended targets. The Block IV costs about half the price of a newly built Block III missile.

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