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For information about UK Armed Forces, including organisation, equipment and manning, use the links below:

Royal Navy
Royal Air Force
Management of Defence

Defence Projects

Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM)

TOMAHAWK Land Attack Missile (TLAM)

The TOMAHAWK Land Attack Missile (TLAM) entered service with the United States Navy in 1984 and was successfully used during the Gulf War in 1991. The MoD subsequently identified the need for such a weapon and a project team was formed in early 1994.

The project covers the procurement and integration into the UK SSNs of the missile and the Advanced TOMAHAWK Weapon Control System (ATWCS) together with the provision of a UK shore-based Mission Planning Facility. Following a rapid 1 year Feasibility Study, on 13 September 1995, the Secretary of State for Defence announced the intention to enter Full Development and Production, and both US Congressional and final UK approval to proceed were given in October 1995.

Shortly thereafter a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case for TLAM acquisition was signed with the DoD and, following competition, Lockheed Martin Federal Systems (LMFS) were awarded the contract for RN TOMAHAWK Tactical Weapon System (TWS) Integration. The contract for the Cruise Missile Support Activity (CMSA) integration and building works programme in Northwood was placed with ICL-Defence in October 1996.


Site acceptance was successfully completed in March 1998. The missile was successfully used by the RN in the Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

The current missile is the Block III variant. The MoD has agreed with the US DoD to purchase 64 of the new Block IV variant, also known as Tactical TOMAHAWK. Delivery will commence in 2008.

General characteristics / technical performance

The missile is essentially a long-range precision strike weapon designed to hit strategic targets with the minimum of collateral damage and without risk to aircrew. It is a small unmanned aircraft which can fly subsonically at low or high altitude. The RN version is fired, currently, only from the torpedo tube of a submerged SSN. - Length - 18ft 3in (5.5m) 20ft 6in (6.25m) with booster

Commercial Aspects

US DoD - Supplied the AURs under the FMS case using Raytheon; the ATWCS H/W under the FMS case using Hewlett Packard; the MPT H/W under the FMS case using GDE Systems, Raytheon and Boeing; the ATWCS and MPT S/W direct; Support to CMSA UK under FMS case.

Lockheed Martin Federal Systems (LMFS) - Weapon System Integration Contractor.

Lockheed Martin Management & Data Systems (LMMDS) contracted via US DoD to provide COTS upgrade - Software and Hardware (TTWCS).

Lockheed Martin Naval & Surveillance Systems (LMNESS) working with LMMDS using UK Sub-contractors BAE Systems and Ultra Electronics for TTWCS .

Direct UK MoD Contracts remain in existence with the following:

  • Strachan & Henshaw - Weapon handling and discharge

  • Frazer Nash - Safety consultant

  • Detica (Smith Systems Engineering) - Security Consultant

  • J & S Marine (Barnstaple) Engineering Support

  • Ultra Electronics (Loudwater) - Post Design Services for ATWCS and TTWCS

  • BAE Systems - Post Design Services for ATWCS, TTWCS and PVC Electrical

  • Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems (Weymouth) - Special to Type Test Equipment Packaging and Handling

  • B M T Defence Services Ltd - Post Design Co-ordination.



5.5m 6.25m with booster




1,315kg 1,587kg with booster

Wing Span









454kg blast/fragmentation

Photo US Navy


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