U.S. SEA LAUNCHED CRUISE MISSILE


BGM-109 "TOMAHAWK" CRUISE MISSILE

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WARHEAD   -  1000 LB. - W80 250 KILOTON THERMONUCLEAR OR 
             1000 LB. CONVENTIONAL HIGH EXPLOSIVE/FRAGMENTARY
RANGE     -  1,553 MILES 
WING SPAN -  100 INCHES
LENGTH    -  219 INCHES 
WEIGHT    -  4,190 POUNDS
ENGINE    -  SOLID PROPELLENT BOOSTER/TURBOJET CRUISE
             one Williams F107-400 rated at 600 lbs. thrust
GUIDANCE  -  TERCOM, GPS, DSMAC AND INFRA-RED
SPEED     -  550 MILES PER HOUR
COST      -  $1.4 MILLION TO OVER $2 MILLION DEPENDING ON
             VERSION

Since its development in 1972 there have been four distinct types of Tomahawk cruise missiles. Two versions, the U.S.A.F. ground launched version and the Navy BGM-109A have been removed from the U.S. inventory - or have had the W-80 thermonuclear warhead removed and replaced with a conventional high explosive.

Although most publications list the Tomahawk accuracy at 30 feet the real truth lies in the computer guidance system. Tomahawk is designed to fly through a one meter square window on earth at a predesignated time. The Tomahawk has about a 85% direct hit record over its use in the Gulf war, and further firings since then. Tomahawk uses a combination of GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), TERCOM or a special terrain way-point radar map and two types of terminal guidance systems to place the warhead with pinpoint accuracy, DSMAC and an Infra-red mapper. DSMAC is a high resolution satellite radar image of the target area which the Tomahawk follows to within feet of the intended target. An additional Infra-red scene mapper is also employed for a dual spectrum picture fed to the targeting computer.

The two conventional warheads used in the August 20, 1998 attacks on the Sudan and Afghanistan were the conventional 1,000 pound high explosive and the 1,000 pound cluster bomblet warhead which showers a target with a rain of softball sized bombs. The heavy warheads were used mainly against the factory in Sudan and caves or hardened bunkers in Afghanistan. The bomblet versions were deployed directly against "soft" targets such as people, trucks, buildings and light armored vehicles.

One version of the Tomahawk used in the Gulf war deployed small spools of carbon-carbon fiber thread over Iraqi power plants and electric grids. The fiber spools unwound and fell over the live wires. The resulting shorts blew most of the Iraqi electric power grid for the remainder of the war. Iraqi efforts to clear the spools and restart the electric plants were foiled by desert winds which blew more spools back into the live wires.

Serbian forces have also felt the Tomahawk "lights out" warhead filled with carbon-carbon thread. The USAF was also so impressed with the non-lethal warhead that it has installed it in a special GPS guided version. The USAF carbon-carbon spools are dispensed by small "submunitions" that are deployed by the GPS bomb over the intended target.

The Tomahawk will most likely be armed with the newest U.S. warheads the EMG Explosive Magnetocumulative Generator or the HPM or High Power Microwave warhead. These special energy "non lethal" weapons are designed to attack computer, radar, and communications electronics systems.



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