The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon [RTN] a $119 million contract to start integrating an enhancement to the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile to make it able to strike moving targets at sea, the company said Tuesday.
The contract covers a new multi-mode seeker and the Navy is conducting this new seeker development as a Rapid Deployment Capability program “to meet urgent fleet requirements for defeating emerging maritime threats worldwide,” Raytheon said.
The Tomahawk missile is launched from both surface vessels and submarines and has a range up to 1,000 miles for precision strikes.
“Tomahawk’s new multi-mode seeker will add even more capability to this already advanced missile,” Dave Adams, Raytheon’s Tomahawk program director, said in a statement.
He added the missile already can precisely target land targets “and soon the weapon will defeat moving maritime targets. Enemy vessels at sea will not elude Tomahawk..”
A separate Navy contract has Raytheon already modernizing the missile’s radio suite and software. Recertification on the first Block IV missiles is planned to start in 2019, which will extend the Tomahawk’s service life for 15 years. The process will also allow Raytheon to make enhancements to the missile, the company said.
“The U.S. Navy and Raytheon are working closely together to further enhance this modern missile, keeping Tomahawk in the fleet for decades to come,” Capt. Mark Johnson, Tomahawk program manager at U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, said in a statement..
The company said it expects to deliver the new seeker and capability by 2022.