Thetest launched the Block IV cruise missile during an operational test November 5, 2009 evaluating the missile’s new GPS system and successful use against time-critical targets. The enhanced capabilities of the ship and submarine launched Block IV increase fleet effectiveness, with network enabled communication, battle damage imaging.
On this test mission the missile flew a land attack mission into San Nicolas Island in support of a Special Operations team, destroying a time-critical target after receiving targeting information from a combined U.S./United Kingdom Special Operations Team on the island. To prepare the mission and link to the missile the team employed the Precision Strike Suite – Special Operations Forces (PSS-SOF) and Joint Strike Planning and Execution Auto Router (JSPEAR) portable units. Live target updating was conducted from the field using these portable units and confirmation was provided by satellite and unmanned systems imagery.
The mission was initiated from JSPEAR and sent to the fleet commander and USS Princeton. Seconds after launch from the ship’s vertical launch system, the Tomahawk missile transitioned to cruise flight. The total flight time was short and the test was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Tomahawk’s new eight channelGPS receiver (AGR-4). The results of this test confirmed the ability of Tomahawk Block IV to be used in time critical strike operations to meet the requirements of U.S. Special Forces.
“This test proves that Tomahawk provides a key enabler for time-critical strike,” said Tomahawk Program Manager Capt. Dave Davison. “As the only network-enabled, land attack weapon, Tomahawk can re-target, loiter, or provide last minute weapons coverage to deployed forces from on-station naval combatants.”