The UK’s inventory of Tomahawk Land Assault Missiles (TLAM) will probably be upgraded for Royal Navy submarines to make sure the weapon is much more efficient towards future threats. It would journey additional than the earlier Block IV iteration, sustaining a precision-strike functionality unmatched in vary and accuracy. It would additionally make the weapon much less weak to exterior threats, with modernised in-flight communication and goal choice. In a £265 million contract DE&S negotiated with the US Authorities, the Astute class will probably be armed with an enhanced Block V commonplace missile able to putting in-land targets at a variety of as much as 1,000 miles.

Ed Cutts, DE&S Director Weapons, mentioned: “Not solely will this International Army Sale (FMS) maintain and enhance a confirmed, essential operational functionality for any future conflicts, it can proceed to make sure interoperability with our US allies and the follow-on assist preparations will maintain jobs for UK trade.”


Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, mentioned: “This improve will equip our Astute-Class assault submarines with the one of the deadly and exact long-range strike weapons. “Enhancing this cutting-edge missile system will make sure the UK can strike extreme threats as much as 1,000 miles away.”

Royal Navy Astute class nuclear-powered fleet submarines (SSNs).

At roughly 5.6m lengthy and weighing 2200kg – an analogous weight to a 4×4 automotive – the excessive sub-sonic Tomahawk was first launched into UK service in 1998 and may hit in-land targets from the ocean inside minutes. A weapon of selection since then, it has been efficiently deployed throughout operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. Tomahawk will probably be upgraded as a part of an FMS negotiated by DE&S’ Weapons Working Centre and will probably be lively from July, with upgrades ranging from 2024. Making use of current US analysis and experience, the contract will imply the UK continues to obtain full entry to the US Tomahawk programme, assist package deal and upgrades.

The FMS additionally consists of missile upkeep, recertification of current missiles, spares, operational flight testing, software program, {hardware} and coaching provisions. Current upkeep and technical assist already sustains jobs at BAE Methods, Babcock Worldwide and Lockheed Martin. The announcement builds on commitments made within the Defence Command Paper and Built-in Assessment, along with Royal Navy mission planning and weapon management system upgrades that can enhance the efficiency of legacy Block IV missiles. As a consequence of be operational within the mid-2020s, the upgraded Tomahawk will align with the supply of the newest Astute submarines.

Tomahawks are loaded aboard  Royal Navy HMS Astute
Tomahawk Land Assault Missiles are loaded aboard Royal Navy HMS Astute