Home Americas Raytheon receives first Maritime Strike Tomahawk contract

Raytheon receives first Maritime Strike Tomahawk contract

Tomahawk missile launch from submarine
Photo: Raytheon

The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Raytheon Missiles & Defense a $20 million contract for low-rate production of the Maritime Strike Tomahawk cruise missile.

The Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST), which is also designated as Block Va, is part of the Block V family of Tomahawks that will also introduce a Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), designated as Block Vb, for the ability of engaging more diverse land targets.

Raytheon is delivering the new capabilities as part of a wider program to recertify and modernize the existing Block IV inventory of missiles, and produce new Block V missiles. The navy received its first Blok V missile in March this year.

MST Block Va includes navigation and communication upgrades in addition to an advanced multi-mode seeker for engaging moving targets at sea.

In an announcement from October 29, the navy said the contract would see Raytheon integrate, produce, qualify, test and field MST seeker suites and all subsystems required to provide midcourse and terminal guidance for prosecution of maritime targets from surface and subsurface platforms.

The service added that the procured seeker suites would be installed in recertified Tomahawk missiles, with work scheduled to be completed by October 2024.

“This award is a significant and essential step toward addressing the US Navy’s need to counter moving targets at sea,” said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Maritime Strike Tomahawk Block Va production ensures our sailors have the most advanced long-range, first-strike weapons available to defeat advancing threats.”

The Tomahawk cruise missile is a precision weapon that launches from ships and submarines and can strike targets precisely from 1,000 miles away, even in heavily defended airspace. According to Raytheon, US and allied militaries have flight-tested the GPS-enabled Tomahawk 550 times and used it in combat more than 2,300 times. Its most recent use came in 2018, when US Navy warships and submarines launched 66 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian chemical weapon facilities.