The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long range 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 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 (FRP). 

The latest variant, Block V Tomahawk missiles, feature a NAV/COMMs upgrade that maintains the capability for In-Flight Target Updates and Improved Navigation. Future Block V capabilities will add to the NAV/COMMs upgrade and include the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant, designated as Block Va; and the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), designated as Block Vb.

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. Since January 1991, more than 2,300 Tomahawks have been fired in combat operations, including in during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya and  during Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria.


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

Block V Unit Cost: Approximately $2.404M (FY22$)

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 Assembly

Length: 20.3 feet

Diameter: 21 inches

Wingspan: 8 feet 6 inches

Weight: 3,330 lbs. with rocket motor