The U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) is contracting with the U.S. government for $333 million to upgrade its stock of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) for longer ranges.
The U.K. government said on May 31 this upgrade will arm the Royal Navy’s Astute-class submarines with enhanced
Raytheon Technologies [RTX] Block V TLAMS capable of ranges up to 1,000 miles.
The MoD said the upgrade also aims to make the missiles less vulnerable to threats with modernized in-flight communication and target selection. The U.K. has fielded the Tomahawk missile since 1998.
This announcement comes months after the State Department approved a potential $368.5 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) for Tomahawk weapon system follow-on support, including missile maintenance, spares, procurement, and in-service support (Defense Daily, March 29).
The U.K government noted these upgrades will occur as part of an FMS contract with the U.S. The announcement said the U.S. government previously completed negotiations with the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) procurement segment, Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S).
The contract work is set to start activity this July while upgrades will be delivered starting in 2024.
“This upgrade will equip our Astute-Class attack submarines with one of the most lethal and precise long-range strike weapons. Enhancing this cutting-edge missile system will ensure the U.K. can strike severe threats up to 1,000 miles away,” Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defense Procurement, said in a statement.
The MoD noted the FMS also includes missile maintenance, recertification of existing missiles, spares, operational flight testing, software, hardware and training provisions.
It specifically said the contract includes maintenance and technical support of the missile at U.K sites of BAE Systems, Babcock International and Lockheed Martin [LMT].
“Not only will this FMS sustain and improve a proven, crucial operational capability for any future conflicts, it will continue to ensure interoperability with our U.S. allies and the follow-on support arrangements will sustain jobs for U.K. industry,” Ed Cutts, DE&S director for weapons, added.