The Tomahawk  weapons system is the U.S. Navy’s premier, precision strike standoff weapon for attack of long range, medium range and tactical targets.


The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long range, subsonic cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines.

The Tomahawk Block II Nuclear variant (TLAM-N) uses an Inertial Navigation System (INS) aided by Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) for missile navigation. TLAM-N contains the W80 nuclear warhead. Tomahawk Block III adds Digital Scene Matching Area Correlation (DSMAC) and Global Positioning Satellite System guidance capability which is highly coupled to the existing Block II guidance systems for precision navigation.

The Tomahawk Block III Conventional variant (TLAM-C) contains a 1,000-lb class blast/fragmentary unitary warhead while the Submunition variant (TLAM-D) includes a submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets. The Tomahawk Block IV (Tactical Tomahawk, TLAM-E), conventional variant, which entered the Fleet in 2004, adds the capability to reprogram the missile while in-flight via two-way satellite communications to strike any of 15 pre-programmed alternate targets or redirect the missile to any Global Positioning System (GPS) target coordinates.

The Block IV 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. Tomahawk Block IV is currently in Full Rate Production. Tomahawk provides on-scene commander with the flexibility to attack long-range fixed targets or support Special Operations Forces with a lethal, responsive, precision weapon system and as such has become the weapon of choice for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Tomahawk cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, with immense success. The missile has since been used successfully in several other conflicts. In 1995 the governments of the United States and United Kingdom signed a Foreign Military Sales Agreement for the acquisition of 65 missiles, marking the first sale of Tomahawk® to a foreign country. In 2003, an agreement was approved for the United Kingdom to procure 65 Block IV Torpedo Tube Launch Tomahawks®. The United Kingdom began to receive Block IV missile deliveries in January 2008 and successfully declared their In-Service-Date in March 2008.


Primary Function: Long-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets.
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ
Date Deployed: Block II TLAM-A IOC - 1984
Block III - IOC 1993
Block IV - IOC 2004
Unit Cost: Approximately $607,000 (FY99 $).
Propulsion: Block II/III TLAM-A, C & D - Williams International F107 cruise turbo-fan engine ; ARC/CSD solid-fuel booster
Block IV TLAM-E - Williams International F415 cruise turbo-fan engine ; ARC MK 135 Rocket Motor Asssembly
Length: 20.3 feet
Diameter: 21 inches
Wingspan: 8 feet 9 inches
Weight: 3,330 lbs with rocket motor
Speed: Subsonic
Range: Block II TLAM-A - 1350 nautical miles (1500 statute miles, 2500 km)
- Block III TLAM-C - 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
- Block III TLAM-D - 700 nautical miles (800 statute miles, 1250 km)
- Block IV TLAM-E - 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km).
Guidance System: Block II TLAM-A - INS, TERCOM
Warhead: Block II TLAM-N - W80 nuclear warhead
- Block III TLAM-C and Block IV TLAM-E - 1,000 pound class unitary warhead
- Block III TLAM-D - conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets.

Program Status

Tactical Tomahawk Block IV
Production Phase: Production & Sustainment

Tactical Tomahawk Block II &III
Production Phase: Sustainment
Tactical Tomohawk Weapon Control System
Production Phase: Sustainment