Tomahawk is an American-origin cruise missile with Anti-Ship and Land attack capabilities. It belongs to the class of sub-sonic and intermediate-range cruise missiles. It can be launched from ships and submarines. Tomahawk missiles have a striking range of about 1000 miles (1600 kilometers). The Tomahawk is developed to cruise at low altitudes while maintaining high subsonic speeds.
Tomahawk cruise missile can be launched from both conventional torpedo tubes and vertical launch cells onboard submarines and surface vessels. This missile can be launched from US Navy surface ships and US and British submarines.
The United States has developed five variants of Tomahawk missiles. Now Block IV and Block V are in service while the first three blocks are retired from US and British naval service. As per AUKUS plan, Australian Ships will be armed with tomahawk cruise missiles.
Variants of Tomahawk Cruise Missile:
- Block I (retired)
- Block II (retired)
- Block III (retired)
- Block IV
- Block V
Block V carries a conventional warhead of 454 kg weight. Military Balance 2022 estimates the Block -V missile’s Circular Error Probability as 4 meters.
• Faster launch timeline.
• Upgraded data link allowing re-routing in-flight to pre-planned or new targets.
• Installation of electro-optical sensors provides battle damage information.
- Diameter: 0.52 meters
- Length: 5.55 meters without booster; 6.25 meters with booster
- Launch Weight: 1,315 kg (without booster)
- Warhead: HE/fragmentation unitary, various submunitions
- Payload: 454 kilograms