A Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile has shown it can take a reconnaissance photo and follow orders to re-target in mid-flight during a recent test conducted by the US Navy and Raytheon Company.
During the test, a missile launched from the guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) used its onboard camera to capture battle damage indication imagery and then transmitted the image to fleet headquarters via its two-way UHF SATCOM datalink. The missile then entered a loiter pattern to await further instructions.
Meanwhile, strike controllers at the US Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain retargeted the missile to a new aim point on the Navy’s range at San Nicolas Island, off the coast of southern California. The missile performed a vertical dive and struck the designated target.
The test was designed to show that the missile’s strike controllers, located at multiple fleet headquarters, can control and redirect multiple missiles simultaneously. To reduce testing costs, only one of the large salvo of missiles was a live launch. The rest were flown via computer simulation through various missions directed by forward deployed strike controllers.
October 8, 2015