Navy Ready to Accept First Block V Tomahawk from Raytheon

ARLINGTON, Va. — Raytheon Co. has completed the first recertificated Tomahawk cruise missile, one that it modified to the Block V configuration, a Navy official said.

The missile is one of the first five Block VI Tactical Tomahawk missiles that have been inducted into the recertification process, which takes missiles at the midlife 15-year mark for overhaul and modernization. 

Capt. John Red, the Navy’s Tomahawk program manager, speaking to reporters Jan. 15 at the Surface Navy Association symposium here, said that all Block IVs will be converted into Block Vs.

All Block Vs will feature a new data-link radio and antennas and navigation system. The Block Va version also will feature a new seeker kit to hit moving targets and will be called the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST). The Block Vb version will feature the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System.

Red was not at liberty to discuss the MST’s seeker in detail but described it as a “multimode seeker with the ability to discriminate targets.”

The Tomahawk missile first entered combat in January 1991 in Operation Desert Storm. More than 2,000 have been fired at hostile targets over three decades.

Red said the remaining Block III Tomahawks, which first entered service in 1994, are being withdrawn from use and are being “demilitarized.”