Tomahawk control capability revealed

Lockheed Martin Corp. officials today announced initial operating capability of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System, which is designed to bring new command and control capabilities for missile strikes and provide the ability to redirect missiles already in flight.

The Navy's Tomahawk has become a staple in the military's arsenal, providing pinpoint accuracy at targets up to 1,000 miles away. The ship-based missile now can be integrated with its host ship's navigation, communication, situational awareness and launch systems to compute the missile's route to strike targets.

Navy ships will use the Tomahawk system to plan and execute Tomahawk strikes with the current block III missiles, and will continue to use it with next-generation block IV missiles, scheduled to be deployed this year. Officials will begin fleet installation of the system this month.

The system's Launch Platform Mission Planning component is a new capability that reduces weapons system reaction time by expediting the mission-planning process.

Congress approved $355 million in fiscal 2004 for 350 of the missiles for the Navy.

Operational evaluation of the new system was conducted during a two-month period in August and September 2003.

Lockheed won the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System contract in May 1999. The deal carries an estimated value of $140 million through 2008, if all options are exercised.

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