Last updated: 12 Mar 2021
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather, long range, subsonic cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines.
The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long range, subsonic cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines.
The Tomahawk Block III Conventional variant (TLAM-C) contains a 1,000-lb class blast/fragmentary unitary warhead while the Submunition variant (TLAM-D) includes a submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets. The Tomahawk Block IV (Tactical Tomahawk, TLAM-E), conventional variant, which entered the Fleet in 2004, adds the capability to reprogram the missile while in-flight via two-way satellite communications to strike any of 15 pre-programmed alternate targets or redirect the missile to any Global Positioning System (GPS) target coordinates.
The Block IV missile is capable of loitering over a target area in order to respond to emerging targets or, with its on-board camera, provide battle damage information to warfighting commanders. Tomahawk Block IV is currently in Full Rate Production (FRP). Block IV's will require mid-life recertification beginning in fiscal year 2019, increasing the capabilities and extending service life. During recertification, upgrades to navigation and communication systems will be completed. Plans for a maritime strike capability are in development, this enhancement would be executed concurrently with recertification.
Tomahawk cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, with immense success. The missile has since been used successfully in several other conflicts. In 1995 the governments of the United States and United Kingdom signed a Foreign Military Sales Agreement for the acquisition of 65 missiles, marking the first sale of Tomahawk to a foreign country. In 2003, an agreement was approved for the United Kingdom to procure 65 Block IV Torpedo Tube Launch Tomahawks. The United Kingdom began to receive Block IV missile deliveries in January 2008 and successfully declared their In-Service-Date in March 2008.
General Characteristics Primary Function: Long-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets.
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ.
Date Deployed: Block II TLAM-A IOC - 1984 (retired)
Block III – IOC 1994
Block IV – IOC 2004.
Propulsion: Block II (retired)/III TLAM-A, C & D - Williams International F107 cruise turbo-fan engine; ARC/CSD solid-fuel booster
Length: 20.3 feet; with booster: 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 meters).
Diameter: 21 inches
Wingspan: 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 meters).
Weight: 3,330 pounds with rocket motor.
Speed: Subsonic - about 550 mph (880 km/h).
Range: Block III TLAM-C - 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
Block III TLAM-D – 700 nautical miles (800 statute miles, 1250 km
Block IV TLAM-E – 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
Guidance System: Block II TLAM-A (retired) – INS, TERCOM
Block III TLAM-C, D
Block IV TLAM-E – INS, TERCOM, DSMAC, and GPS.
Warhead: Block II TLAM-N (retired) – W80 nuclear warhead
Block III TLAM-C and Block IV TLAM-E - 1,000 pound class unitary warhead
Block III TLAM-D - conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets. Last Update: 26 April 2018
Point of Contact
Program Executive Office
N54 (Navy Strategic Deterrence Policy)
Strike Weapons and
Unmanned Aviation [PEO (W)]
Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, Maryland