Vinson strike group guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) launches a Block V Tomahawk missile off the coast of California. (U.S. Navy photo)

Navy completes first Block V Tomahawk operational test launch

The Navy recently completed its first operational flight tests of the Block V Tomahawk missile, the weapon’s latest variant, from the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG-90) off the coast of California.

The objective of the testing was to support initial fleet release of the Block V Tomahawk’s Navigation/Communications (NAV/COMMs) upgrade, as well as upgrades to the Theater Mission Planning Center (TMPC) system and the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS).

“This is the culmination of years of planning and effort,” said the Tomahawk Weapons System Program Manager Capt. John Red. “We’re working every day to modernize the Tomahawk missile, and to deliver the best warfighting capability to the fleet.”

During the week of Nov. 30, the USS Chafee successfully launched two Block V missiles and one Block IV missile from Point Mugu Sea Test Range and impacted targets as planned. The successful completion of the operational tests paves the way for the delivery of Block V missiles to the fleet in 2021.

Block V missiles will feature a NAV/COMMs upgrade that will enhance navigation performance and provide robust and reliable communications. Future Block V capabilities will add to the NAV/COMMs upgrade and include the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant, which adds a seeker kit (designated as Block Va), and an update to the conventional warhead known as the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS) (designated as Block Vb).

The Tomahawk Weapons System is the U.S. Navy’s premier, precision strike stand-off weapon for attack of long range, medium range, and tactical targets.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) launches a Block V Tomahawk during a missile exercise Nov. 30 off the coast of California. (U.S. Navy photo)

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