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US Navy tests new warhead for Tomahawk Block IV missile

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Raytheon's Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missile

NAWS CHINA LAKE (BNS): The US Navy has successfully carried out the first live test of the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System (JMEWS) for the new warhead for the Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missile.

The JMEWS program is designed to deliver a warhead that will give the Tactical Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile all of the same blast-fragmentation capabilities that make it a formidable weapon today and to introduce enhanced penetration capabilities into a single warhead, Raytheon said in a statement.

"This static test of the JMEWS program brings this powerful capability one step closer to potential integration into the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile, delivering enhanced capabilities to the operationally proven system," said Captain Dave Davison, the US Navy's program manager for the Tomahawk Weapon System.

During the August 16 test, the warhead detonated, creating a hole large enough for the follow-through element to completely penetrate the concrete target and pass through two witness plates.

"The future of the Tomahawk Block IV missile includes a series of affordable enhancements to make the system more capable for the warfighter," said Gary Hagedon, Raytheon's Tomahawk program director.

"JMEWS is the first of the planned system enhancements, and this test demonstrates that we have the right team in place to deliver these capabilities," he said.

The Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile provides an expanded array of operational capabilities while reducing acquisition, operations and support costs. The missile has a two-way satellite data link that enables it to respond to changing battlefield conditions.

The strike controller can divert the missile in flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target. The controller can also command the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile to loiter over the battlefield until a target is identified as well as reprogram JMEWS fuzing for optimal lethality against this newly identified target.

The missile also can transmit battle damage imagery and missile telemetry information via the satellite data link, Raytheon said.

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