U.S. Navy Tomahawk missiles demonstrate mid-flight re-targeting and reconnaissance capabilities
SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, Calif. The U.S. Navy completed a missile exercise with Raytheon’s Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate the missile's strike controllers, located at multiple fleet headquarters, can control and redirect multiple missiles simultaneously.
During the exercise, a tomahawk missile - launched from the USS Gridley (DDG 101) - took a reconnaissance photo and follow-up orders to re-target in mid-flight. It used its onboard camera to capture battle damage and then transmitted the image to fleet headquarters via its two-way UHF SATCOM datalink.
While the missile entered a loiter pattern awaiting further instructions, strike controllers at the U.S. Fifth fleet in Bahrain re-targeted the missile to a new aim point at San Nicolas Island on the Navy’s range off the coast of southern California. Officials state that the missile performed a vertical dive and struck its designated target.
Only one missile was a live launch to reduce testing costs, the rest were computer simulations through various missions directed by forward deployed strike controllers.
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