The U.S. Navy marked a significant milestone Nov. 5, as the service joined defense contractor Raytheon Missile Systems in celebrating the delivery of the 3,000th Tactical Tomahawk) missile.
TACTOM, also known as Tomahawk Block IV, is a deep-strike, long-range cruise missile often used for land-attack warfare and employed from U.S. Navy surface combatants and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines.
More than 40 years ago, few could have imagined the viability of a long-range cruise [missile] with the precision and lethality to achieve strategic objectives,î said Capt. Joe Mauser, program manager for the Tomahawk Weapons Systems Program Office (PMA-280), in videotaped remarks included at a ceremony in Tucson-Ariz., where Raytheon Missile Systems is based. ìOver the past three decades, Tomahawk has evolved, but remained a key component of combat operations with over 2,000 combat shots.
The TACTOM missile is capable of loitering over a target area in order to respond to emerging targets or, with its on-board camera, provide battle damage information to warfighting commanders. TACTOM can also provide an on-scene commander with the flexibility to attack long-range fixed targets or support special-operations forces with a lethal, responsive, precision weapon system.
To get to this point was no accident,î Mauser said. ìRather, it is a direct reflection of the skill and dedication that each member of this incredible team has brought forward. This is an incredibly complex weapon requiring the unique talents of diverse vendor base and the discipline to bring it all together in Tucson to deliver a reliable and effective weapon to the fleet. And yet it consistently happens like clockwork, as evidenced by years of early deliveries and high quality.