Home » Aviation » Video: Tomahawk Strike Missile Punches Hole Through Moving Maritime Target


Video: Tomahawk Strike Missile Punches Hole Through Moving Maritime Target

A Tomahawk cruise missile hits a moving maritime target Jan. 27 after being launched from the USS Kidd (DDG-100) near San Nicolas Island in California. US Navy Photo

A Tomahawk cruise missile hits a moving maritime target Jan. 27 after being launched from the USS Kidd (DDG-100) near San Nicolas Island in California. US Navy Photo

A January test of a Raytheon Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM) against a moving target at sea could be a short-term answer to the U.S. Navy’s long-range anti-surface missile problem, USNI News understands.

The test – conducted off of San Nicolas Island, Calif. – demonstrated that a TLAM launched from a ship could be guided into a moving target at sea by a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

An unclassified video of the test, obtained by USNI News, shows the missile launch from guided missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG-100), fly for an unspecified amount of time and punch a hole through a shipping container on a moving ship target and skip across the ocean.

“It demonstrates the viability of long-range communications for position updates of moving targets,” Capt. Joe Mauser, Tomahawk Weapons System (PMA-280) program manager for Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said in a Feb. 5 Navy statement.
“This success further demonstrates the existing capability of Tomahawk as a netted weapon, and in doing so, extends its reach beyond fixed and re-locatable points to moving targets.”

If the Navy can perfect the methodology, it would give the service an almost 1,000 nautical mile extension – the range of the TLAM — of its lethal anti-surface radius for its newer guided missile destroyers, which are not fitted with the service’s aging RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.

The Tomahawk Block IV – unlike earlier versions of the missile – has the ability to adjust its flight path based on new information given to the missile allowing it to hit moving targets.

The Navy had briefly fielded a TLAM configured as an ASM the — Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile (TASM) in the late 1980s.

“[TASM] 200-nautical-mile-plus range was so long that the navy of those days lacked sufficient surveillance assets to guide the TASM to its target,” wrote James Holmes in The Diplomat in 2012.
“Since the bird was subsonic, furthermore, its flight time was so long that the target might move out of the way, foiling the engagement attempt. The navy leadership eventually deemed the danger of hitting friendly or neutral vessels unacceptable.”

Most of the TASMs were converted into land attack Tomahawks in the early 1990s.

The testing of the Block IV Tomahawk as an ASM falls in line with the call U.S. surface leadership made to beef up the deadly force on surface ships in a plan called, distributed lethality.

“If I need a new weapon system, I don’t go spend ten years developing it,” the service’s director of surface warfare Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said in January.

“I go take a seeker – if that’s my problem – and I glue it on the front end of an existing missile. If it doesn’t go far enough, I put a new backend on it. If someone around the world is already flying it, I go buy it.”

However, the service may have to include a new seeker on the Block-IV to make it effective and its unclear what other information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets could guide the missile to its final target.

Still, the Block IV could be a quick fix to the Navy’s ASM gap before new capabilities like the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LARSM) come online.

  • Curtis Lee

    lol!The pigeons!

    • johnbull

      I’m so glad that no animals were harmed in the filming of this video. Seriously, considering how long it takes us to field new weapons, this is a very positive solution for providing real anti-ship punch until the LRASM is deployed to the fleet.

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  • Matt

    That was awesome.

  • How am I supposed to take this weapon system seriously if it can’t even manage to kill the pigeons.

    • Peter Smith

      If you think about it… why would the Navy want to hit the ship itself and not be able to reuse it for guidance testing? Furthermore, if I were testing the guidance systems on a missile only I wouldn’t throw explosives in it because that would just be a waste of money. Also, if I was testing the precision of the missile I would aim for one specific cargo container to see how accurately it can pinpoint the target, but that’s just me.

      • RobM1981

        Of course, you *could* target a specific pigeon… 🙂

        • JoeOvercoat

          That’s why they stationed *two* missile-detecting pigeons (known as pidgeons) on deck, duh. (2:50)

          • DaveGinOly

            I also noticed that the pigeons were alert to the incoming missile. Pretty interesting that they’d detect a threat like that, which you might think is far out of their instinctual avoidance envelope. Pigeons don’t have much experience with threats that move faster than a falcon.

          • JoeOvercoat

            Their thoughts on the matter were, “You could just shoo us off your damn boat. You don’t need to break out the big guns.”

          • Secundius

            @ DaveGinOly.

            They couldn’t have been that alert, because in Normal Video speed, pigeon’s looked like they were Eviscerated by missile impact…

          • herrbrahms

            The crazy thing is that the missile was only 3x as fast as a peregrine falcon in a dive.

      • gunnerv1

        The “Explosion” that you saw in the Video is from unused fuel and I do think that they aimed for a specific Container due to the Video Cameras “aimed” at a specific container.

        • Secundius

          @ gunnerv1.

          I don’t think so, After watching the Video several time. I think its the Missiles Warhead. The reason I suspect this. One, their’s NO Plywood in the Shipping Containers. All corner’s including Ceiling and Floor have at least 1/4-inch thick plywood as an Insulator, thickest being the floor. Which is 3/4 to 1-inch thick. And the “splashes” in the water are of the missile breaking up in linear flight. I suspect, their wasn’t enough resistance in the Shipping Containers to set off the Explosive Charge of the Warhead. The Kinetic Energy of the TLAM alone was enough to pull the Second Wall of Shipping Container up from the bottom of the container…

          • Vijay Mehra

            it was not the warhead…

      • Secundius

        @ Peter Smith.

        If it’s a old ship and there’s nothing worth salvaging on the ship, they usually tow it out to deeper waters and use it for target practice…

    • Alfy

      The boat in the film is called the Mobile Sea Target, a reusable boat that gets stacked with empty cargo vans in different configurations to physically resemble whatever the customer wants. In this case, the vans were stacked as a witness screen. The explosion is unspent fuel. If the missile had a warhead in it, believe me, you would have seen the MST go bye-bye. Look for the warhead test flight film for the British Tomahawk on youtube.

      As for the pigeons, I really wish the person that put the notes on the video had turned on the spell-checker or at least was as smart as a fifth-grader.

  • Once the slap a new seeker head (and warhead?) on this TLAM Block IV, exaclty what is the requirement to be filled by the LRASM?

    • airider

      Good point. The big thing the Navy needs to focus on with this or other options is reducing the cost of the weapons….too many gold plated bullets.

    • RobM1981

      I don’t know the specs for the LRASM, but I would hope it’s faster and harder to target than these Gen1 SSM’s are.

      • Secundius

        @ RobM1981.

        Depends on model, Air-Launched ~15-feet in length. Booster launched from a Submarine, Ship, or Land ~ 20-feet in length…

    • kevinthepope

      I thought part of why tomahawks were pulled out of this role was the fact they were slow, not a pop up and dive missile, and they were not the type to jink and prove very evasive? Yes, they can take pre-programmed routes and probably fly very low to the surface, but highly evasive maneuvers? I’d think they’d be meat to a layered defense force. Frankly, not sure how evasive the LRASM will be either save for the stealth qualities of the missile itself. using it against less defended targets, like long range plinking of tankers, or wounded ships, there’s a winner. I assume they’ll do this with SLAM’s too or already have since they’d be a bit more survivable.

    • KAB

      TLAM’s can’t be launched by aircraft but the LRASM can.

      • Secundius

        @ KAB.

        I don’t know what Comic Books you subscribe to, But if you can Sub-Launch, Sea-Launch, Land-Launch a TLAM. You can certainly Air-Launch one too. You could probable even launch one of a moving Pick-Up Truck, if you tried…

        • KAB

          You know what? Just ignore my previous posts. I have no idea what I was trying to say. They were mostly the result of a lack of sleep.

    • Secundius

      Rundundancey. Not putting all your egg’s into one basket…

  • Jon

    Isn’t this dead meat to just about any reasonably capable point defense/anti-air system, especially over water? Didn’t Obama cancel manufacture/acquisition of new Tomahawks? Isn’t our inventory of Tomahawks getting pretty low?

    Is this another “North Korean-ish” Dog’n Pony show like parking a Naval Strike box launcher on the helo deck of an LCS, firing it off with a laptop, and calling it a “successful test” of the LCS’s ASuW missile capabilities?

    • James B.

      If we shoot the missiles one at a time, along one axis, without supporting jamming, then yes, these missiles are easy prey for point-defense systems, just as Harpoons would be. If we start getting creative, this is a significant improvement.

      • Jon

        Well, it can be fired out of a VLS, and it can loiter outside of detection range till needed, which I’d assume means you can set waypoints/program them to attack from multiple axes. It could also be used in conjunction with air delivered Harpoons in a saturation attack…so, yes, anything that expands our currently available options is a significant improvement.

        • RobM1981

          Both of you make great points that are in the finest tradition of the USN – find a way to make it work.

    • Secundius

      @ Jon.

      Currently there’s a Stock-Pile of ~3,500 TLAM’s with ~196 Block IV’s ordered in 2014. Current TLAM’s are scheduled to be phased of production by 2016. New TLAM replacement with either ArcLight or AIM-200 Aries to follow…

      • Jon

        Closer to 2.5k on hand IIRC, though I don’t think they advertise hard numbers, with the Block IV buy cut to 100, also IIRC. Think cost is around $2 million now…

        The only reason this is a “Good Thing”, is because the Navy has painted themselves into a corner by ignoring ASuW capability for umpteen years. All of our ASuW missiles are obsolete or verging upon it. This is a big, fat, slow, expensive target whose only saving grace is that it doesn’t rely on active terminal guidance, fits in a VLS, doesn’t require a lot of hardware/software changes, and can be pressed into service NOW. This is what desperation looks like, when they’ve suddenly realized we could soon easily be in a shooting war with people who don’t live in mud brick houses…

        That said, as James B. pointed out…it’s a significant improvement, and with some creative thought, could be very useful.

        • Secundius

          @ Jon.

          As long as said Special Package doesn’t exceed design and power requirement parameters it should world. Problem is, will they do it…

      • Secundius

        @ Jon.

        I almost forgot, but DID (Defense Industry Daily) is testing the AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Missile-Extended Range) with a booster launcher of the VLS. Range is expected to be ~500sm. @ ~Mach 3.0…

        • Jon

          JASSM-ER is subsonic. LRASM-A is the JASSM-ER with a new seeker etc. They’ve did a couple tests from a VLS as proof of concept. I wouldn’t expect to see anything come of it till 2017 or beyond.

          Though I could be wrong. It could/should be expedited since the JASSM-ER is approved for production…if that’s even in the USNs vocabulary when it comes to actually desperately needed hardware that doesn’t revolve around lasers or railguns.

          LRASM-B (or is it the other way around?) is the supersonic version…and went nowhere except as burning fragments scattered across the desert AFAIK, and DARPA backed rapidly away from it.

          Maybe they need to ask the Indians/Russians or Taiwanese for technical assistance…

          • Secundius

            @ Jon,

            Well they mention something about putting a RamJet on it…

          • Jon

            Link the article please. I’m…skeptical.

          • Secundius

            @ Jon.

            Just go to the DID website. and ask about the Jassm-er. it took me a while to find it, but than again I wasn’t looking for it either.. I was looking for another subject and came across the DID site in passing (it popped-up with a bunch of others)…

          • Jon

            That’s an overview of the LRASM program. Testing has been of the subsonic LRASM-A. Which will be a huge improvement over current USN capabilities…in a few years.

            LRASM-B; “DARPA decided to focus more resources on the mature LRASM-A program, and defer further development on LRASM-B.”

          • Secundius

            @ Jon.

            I thought the “B” prefix in AGM158B was in reference to the LRASM-B. If it wasn’t, I made an error in judgement…

          • Jon

            No problem…

            AGM-158B = JASSM ER, which has been approved for production for the AF.

            LRASM-A is the navalized version based upon the JASSM ER with a different seeker and other mods.

            LRASM-B is the supersonic version that is “deferred”. For now.

  • Mister Jones

    … Shouldn’t it have exploded right before it hit the ship? I mean, there is now a Tomahawk sized hole in both sides of the shipping container, but it looked like all of the good part happened once it punched through.

    Also, good job on missing the pigeons. If they were seagulls, I’d call that a failed test.

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  • old guy

    I think that I have a 1968 announcement that a Tomahawk with a “bull pup” warhead had hit a moving target 50 miles from launch. What goes? Anyway, You call a container ship a “moving target?” Howzabout a “crawling target”?

    • gunnerv1

      Not a “Container” ship, it was a Hull with a Propulsion System that had very old “Conex” boxes stacked to resemble the “Superstructure” of a Warship. This was just a Targeting Exercise with no Explosive Warhead, the ship can be reused (and has been) and so can the undamaged conex boxes.

      • Dan

        Really, conserve fuel on a CVN, seriously? We have no CV’s in service but that is clear right? I don’t know where you have been or what you have seen or what you have done, I will say however, that is well below average logic.

        • gunnerv1

          US Navy, Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate, Surface Warfare Qualified, Served on nine Destroyers, Instructor, Naval Gunnery Systems (’64-’86)

          • old guy

            Welcome aboard.

        • Ctrot

          Dude, pay attention. He was referring to the non nuke ships reducing speed to conserved fuel, not the CVN.

          • Secundius

            @ Ctrot.

            If the Escort’s in a Carrier Battle Group, can’t maintain pace with the Carrier. They have no business being in the Battle Group…

          • Ctrot

            Take it up with the Navy.

          • Jon

            Only nuke is the carrier, and you don’t refuel @40 knots. Neither do we own a continuous stream of tankers to keep them all topped off.

            12-15 knots to conserve fuel for a CBG is standard cruising speed…unless you want the oceans littered with drifting, out-of-fuel escorts waiting for a tow truck… leaving the carrier a battle group of 1.

          • gunnerv1

            You should tell that to 6th and 7th Fleet Battle Group Commanders. ( I really don’t think they are going to listen though.)

      • old guy

        You’ve been in an FF doing 40knots? Really? You must have been surfing in O’ahu.

        • gunnerv1

          CV(N)’s can and do get to 40 kts (plus), poor old FF’s and DDG’s get left in the “dust”.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            The only way a CV(N) is going to be doing 40-knots, is. It were Waveriding a Tsunami…

          • gunnerv1

            You better tell that to the Navy (USNI=US Naval Institute) as that is where the Information is acquired, I’m just passing it along.

          • Secundius

            @ qunnerv1.

            Now if they said 40mph which is ~34-knots, I would believe that. But not 40-knots, which is ~46mph…

          • Dan

            I thought this was first hand experience, now your reduced to passing it along, that a boy, as I stated, always right. Now your just sound dumb.

      • Dan

        You are a typical Senior Chief, alway’s right. You stated CV’s not CG(N) travel at about 12-15 knot’s to conserve fuel (read your note’s), they too do not need to concern them self’s about fuel, I assumed you knew that. I too understand terminology like DD, DDG, CG, CGN, FF, FFG, BB, CVN, CV, I could continue but wont. I was referring to the modern Navy, not almost 30 years ago Navy. I enjoyed your speech, made me laugh, I had to choke on it many times from Senior Chief’s that were always right. Your speech was so off the topic at hand, I considered it, well, stupid.

        • gunnerv1

          The “Battle Group” will travel at 12-15 kts. PERIOD, unless Launching Aircraft (I hate “Plane Guard” duty, 2 miles behind the CV with all of the Jet Exhaust and the fuel that they dump before landing, stinks and oily) unless trying to get “on station”, then it’s “Balls to the Wall”. Normally a “Battle Group” is spread out about 200 miles, mostly on ASW, and so as to not be taken out in one shot (Nuclear), (not including Aircraft on CAP).
          The almost 30 years ago Navy is just now being decommissioned, or sold to Allied Nation Navies. Your right, Chiefs are never wrong, I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong about that 😉 And I have also operated with the Nuclear Navy too.

          • Dan

            You make me laugh, I find it impressive you have the need to brag about your knowledge, I now believe you were a chief as stated, always trying to prove yourself and your importance, I will give you a that a boy.

          • gunnerv1

            Just to “Prove the Point”, it’s “Atta-Boy”, Not as you inputted “a boy”… and it’s known as “Subject Matter Expert” not “brag”(ing). (Ninty-nine Atta-Boys knocked out by one Aw-Shit).

          • Dan

            I choked on chief’s before indeed, only there excuses, it was always someone else’s fault. The day I signed I out ranked you Senior, there is two types of ship’s in the Navy, bla bla bla. You were a glorified secretary Senior, doing the work we didn’t want to do, period. I don’t remember seeing a Chief in our Mess. OWB(Officer Wanna Be), we considered all Chief’s to a women in a soap opera. It must have sucked knowing you were being well, pissed on as you put it, but couldn’t stop it, Making someone feel they are a massive contributor to a project while the whole time knowing they are infact, not, that was one of our biggest challenge’s, I enjoyed our little disagreement, you typical chief you and your Subject Matter Expertise. I would tell you more about myself but I don’t explain myself to Chief’s. Unless they needed to know what toilet was clogged, you know what i’m talking about, we never talked. Definition of “chief”- not quite but almost.

          • gunnerv1

            Very Bitter young man, I’ll bet some old Crusty Chief banged the crap out of you Secret Agent Man, Can’t describe who/what you are, Personally, I think your so full of BS, that your eyes are brown. You just don’t like being put in your place (time-out, little Daniel, go stand in the corner until you can learn how to be when around adults). When you grow up Danny-boy, you’ll be allowed back in the room. For the most part, if you don’t know what your talking about, shut the fuck up and learn something. You evidently were NOT in the US Navy, as most of the terms you use in your diatribe don’t exist in the USN CPO Mess or The Wardroom and during my 12 years as a E-1 to E-6, I never heard your phrases in the Enlisted Mess Decks (and I Mess-Cooked twice) I was Black Shoe Navy, I couldn’t even put you in with the Brown Shoes. In conclusion, You don’t have a Clue.

          • Dan

            You made me laugh Senior.

          • gunnerv1

            Want to “Prove” you were in “Our” Navy? What’s your Linear Number if you were a “Zero”? If you can’t provide, “we’ll all understand” its all been huffing and puffing to be with the big boys. You and this Blog already know me (and I’m a USNI Member) I can tell what Nine ships and dates I was on them, what Ports/Countries I’ve been to. So just who are you? I, nor others believe in what your saying. I think your in too deep to let it go and save face at the same time. Cough it up or shut up.

          • Dan

            Good morning Sir, my name is Dan S. I can only apologize to you many time’s. Without excuse’s and only an explanation, I see my son posted many disrespectful posting’s at your expense, he is fourteen year’s of age. I saw no harm with him looking at my Face Book page, that was clearly a mistake that wont be made again. I was never in the service Sir. Please know this, I respect all service member’s present and past and only wish I could have been there also. My apologize, Dan S.

          • gunnerv1

            Good Morning to you Sir, I too apologize for castigating your son. You can never tell who is on the other Keyboard and some of us can “Go Off like a Stick-of-Dynamite” at times. (I include myself in that categorization at times) I was trying to figure out who I was conversing with, but just couldn’t crack it. You ought to see if he wants too enlist in the Navy, he’s picked up quite a Vocabulary (from me in particular, I’m not violent, but I have a tongue that’s sharp as a Surgeons Blade). I think that the worse thing is that neither one of us could let it go. Please let your son know that I also apologize for any pain that I may have caused.
            If he wants to discuss Technicalities of Conventional Weapons Systems, I’ll be more that happy to assist him. My youngest student was 17, I think I could adjust for him. Have a good day and Thank You again for your contact.

          • Dan

            Im sorry sir, Mike S.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            It’s “Lineal Number”, not “Linear Number”…

          • gunnerv1

            Point Made, you knew exactly what I was referring to though. Did you get a note from Dan’s Father?

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            About what?

          • gunnerv1

            Dan, as it turns out to be, is fourteen years old and had hijacked his Fathers laptop. The Father didn’t realize what Dan (jr) was up to and his verbal antics. After the Father read the comment chain, he wasn’t exactly happy with his son and apologized on his behalf and seems to have banned him from further contact on this board. (I too apologized for any pain I may have caused to the Son).

        • gunnerv1

          I can tell that you were once in the Navy, and most likely never got above PO3 and some Chief pissed you off (better than being pissed on).

    • Secundius

      @ old guy.

      Are you sure your not referring to AGM-112 Bullpup Missile, I’ve never heard of a Bullpup warhead before…

      • old guy

        It goes like this. I was P.M. at G.L. Martin, producing Bullpups, on a very efficient line. An Admiral, who was probably promised a post-career job, finagled a phony competition with another company. Somehow, we lost. I took the rap. The other company never made a qualified bird. This same Admiral came back over a year later, saying,”All the Bullpups they could use in VietNam were ours and would we start our production line again.” My boss, bless his soul, politely kicked him out (our tooling had been scrapped, anyway.) End of Bullpup. However, the GFE warheads were supplied by another company, who by this time had bunches. That is how the Bullpup warhead got into the Tomahawk missile. Interesting?

  • Abdullah The Sheik of Tikrit

    Phooey. I can throw a rock faster and do more damage than this “old fashioned” bottle rocket. The rusty US of A Navy will have big worries, just as soon as Mighty Iran perfects their newest anti-ship projectile, the “Sea Camel.”

    • Secundius

      @ Abdullah The Sheik of Tikrit.

      It must be hiding under the Card-Board Aircraft Craft Carrier of theirs. Because somehow they lack the fundamentals of actually building a Real One…

    • gunnerv1

      One Hump or Two?

  • publius_maximus_III

    The sea looked as smooth as glass. How well would a land-based Tomahawk do against a target that’s pitching and rolling? Can it zig-and-zag at the last few seconds, or is it just too massive to make a quick final correction?

    Was it the same Hornet on both ends of the test range? I assume not, that a Tomahawk can outfly a fighter, so a targeting aircraft had to already be on station, painting the target before the missile arrived. Or does the Tomahawk use its own targeting system? I thought land-based crusie missiles used images of terrain to find their way to a target, but one patch of ocean looks pretty much the same as the next.

  • publius_maximus_III

    The sea looked as smooth as glass. How well would a land-based Tomahawk do against a target that’s pitching and rolling? Can it zig-and-zag at the last few seconds, or is it just too massive to make a quick final correction?

    Was it the same Hornet on both ends of the test range? I assume not, that a Tomahawk can outfly a fighter, so a targeting aircraft had to already be on station, painting the target before the missile arrived. Or does the Tomahawk use its own targeting system? I thought land-based crusie missiles used images of terrain to find their way to a target, but one patch of ocean looks pretty much the same as the next.

  • old guy

    Achtung! If you want to track a ship target, I have good news for you. Wakes are persistent, visually, for 3 days and thermally, for 4 hours. With a little cloud computing I could tell you the GPS location to within 10 feet, for EVERY ship of interest. Whatsa big deal?

  • James Bowen

    Wow, we had this capability 25 years ago and now trying to get back where we were then is considered progress?

    • USN didn’t have this capability 25 years ago, the reason they retired the Anti-Ship version of the Tomahawk was because they couldn’t direct it in flight and the missiles speed meant too long between firing and reaching the target, where the target could move ourside of the missiles detection radius and might then attack the wrong target.

      • James Bowen

        So goes the excuses they gave. The Harpoon wasn’t much faster than the TASM. Bottom line, the U.S. Navy has severely neglected anti-shipping missiles and capabilities. We have been so laser-focused on power projection that we have forgotten how to actually fight a war at sea.

        • I disagree, the threat the CBG has advanced so the USN has to adjust, one of these adjustement is to diversify the platforms capable of providing the ordinance so that the CVNs aren’t forced into a contested seaspace before the threat has been degraded.
          This system specifically allows the USN to leverage the US ISR advantage to put enemy ships under threat of attack from a far greater range than could safely be allowed just using carrier airpower. Basically they can put a tomahawk on target 20 miles off Hainan Island from well outside the detection/engagement range of any chinese ASCMs.

          • James Bowen

            I think we are saying the same thing, sort of. The U.S. Navy, which never did catch up to the Soviet Navy in the anti-ship missile category in the first place, has totally neglected anti-ship missiles since the end of the Cold War. Our missiles are a joke compared to the SSN-19 Shipwreck which as a speed of about Mach 3 and a 2000 pound warhead or nuclear variants.

          • Check your spec on the Shipwreck, first of all it’s a 6,000 lb weapon, so too large for any airborne platform smaller than a backfire/Blackjack bomber (or a B-52 or B-1B in US inventory), it had a speed of Mach 2.5, but it’s range was only up to 300km (~185miles) so getting one into launch position is a dangerous proposition. It’s warhead was also only 250kb (~550lb).
            If you want speed you lose stealth, range and punch. Even the much ballyhood Sizzler only flies at high mach speed in it’s terminal phase (I’ve heard anywhere from 3-25m – all of which means it’s well within the targetting envelope of a SM-2/6 for over 100m while flying subsonic.)

          • James Bowen

            Are you sure about that warhead size? Based on what I read in Jane’s, I remember it being much larger than that. One of its major launch platforms is an SSGN, where range is not as important of a factor since they would likely be undetected to begin with.

          • Secundius

            @ James Bowen.

            The SSN-19 Shipwreck w/Nuclear-Warhead is ~500-KT w/Conventional Warhead is 750-kilo’s or ~1,653-lbs. of RDX High-Explosives…

          • Well crap, I was looking at the wrong missile, the SS-N-19 Shipwreck was actually a 7,000kg (15,000lb) missile with a 1650lb warhead and a range of about 390 mi (less than 40% of the Tomahawk’s range, and a slightly larger warhead) and a speed of Mach 1.6 to 2.5.

        • Secundius

          @ James Bowen.

          Depend’s on how you define TASM. Is it a Tactical Anti-Shipping Missile or Tactical Air-to-Surface Missile. The Harpoon, travels @ ~537mph. The Tomahawk @ ~550mph. And the SM-1 Standard Missile, used by Wild Weasels in Vietnam Mach 3.5…

          • James Bowen

            I have always read in Jane’s and Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet that the Tomahawk has a speed of Mach 0.7 and the Harpoon Mach 0.8. I was referring to the Tomahawk Anti-Shipping Missile.

          • Secundius

            @ James Bowen.

            Speed of Sound @ Sea-Level is 340.29m/sec. or ~761.21mph…

          • James Bowen

            Being a physicist, I am well aware of that.

          • gunnerv1

            and that’s why the Pigeons were spooked, they heard it coming or possibly could see the missile getting larger (closer) and started to take off when it hit the target.

  • bee bop

    Self-propelled target sled! Takes the risk down to stones skipping on a pond. Aboard USS Wright during 40MM gun shoot on towed aerial sleeve, radar tracked up the wire until pilot declare too close for comfort, dropped the sleeve and headed home. The good old days. Just another app.

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  • Secundius

    I recall someone saying a few months ago that you couldn’t use a TLAM as an ASM’s, please stand-up and be recognized. I believe there still some edible Crow on your plate to be eaten…

    • JESUS_CHRIST_LIVES

      I think you meant pigeon in this case!

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  • Secundius

    There’s got to be a easier less expensive way to “dust off” unwanted Pigeon’s than using a TLAM…

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  • DJ

    Those pigeons cracked me up (2.35 on the video)

    • Secundius

      @ DJ.

      Kind of make me wonder, what were going through the Video Technicians Heads when they had to edit the video. For hours at a time, considering all the camera angles there were…

      • DJ

        Pentagon probably circulates that so this Mook in North Korea and these ISIL assclowns can see how they can put one of these through their bathroom window while they are having a dump

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  • Sandy

    this and the rail gun are great for point targets….what about area suppression? Does anyone know if we are still thinking about going back to an 8′ or 16″ shell rocket-assisted or not, with a GPS seeker, perhaps, like they are doing with mortars, that can do area suppression? Are we going to spend 3-4 million a pop like we did in Bosnia to take out out-houses and barn “command structures” that had fake radar dishes on them? I say keep working on them as we need it for the “tool-bag”, but remember that they can be shot down – a 16″ shell cannot. We need some area suppression weapons that can fire many rounds more cheaply.

    • Secundius

      @ Sandy.

      Considering a TLAM can carry a 1,000-pounds of High-Explosives, area suppression shouldn’t be a problem. Imagine it as a Canister Anti- Personnel Delivery System with Long-Range Reach. As far as the “Rail Gun”, energy released on impact is equivalent to that of WW2 Krupp 11.1-inch (283mm) Naval Gun or like getting hit by a 22-ton bus traveling ~316mph and as for a 16-inch/50-caliber Mk. 7 Naval Gun Projectile. While being impressive in the amount of damage it can create, it only had a maximum range of ~23.6sm…

      • Sandy

        Brutha, agree with you on the rail gun – impressive weapon and in the end cost effective. TLAMs are just too expensive and too prone to an AA environment – they had that canister feature that could drop bomb lets on a certain area for some area suppression, but I really think a rocket-assisted 8 or 16inch would be the way to go if it can be made cost-effective. We still need to be able to do cost-effective NGFS for the Marines, and that means a lot of shells as any opposed landing or OPB will mandate sustained bombardment. GOD Bless.

        • Secundius

          @ Sandy.

          I think you’d be Hard Pressed to find a working 16-inch/45-caliber or 50-caliber Naval Rifled Gun still in Working Order. Let alone the Shell’s to go with it. The last time I saw a 16-inch shell or shell’s actually. Were being a Substitution Jersey Wall Barricades to stop Unwanted High-Speed Visitors. The 1,900-pound Mk. 13 HC (High-Capacity) Abbreviation Round or BB, is a nice Eviscerator/-
          Exterminator of Unwated Trespassers/Guests. And you too, Milady…

    • gunnerv1

      The 8″ Lightweight Gun Mount failed to prove itself on a Destroyer (DDG) platform in the 70’s (saw it in San Diego). The DDG’s are too light in structure for what they were asking it to do/handle. I personally would like to see them on a “Beefed-up” platform, There is a new gun system coming out and it looks “Slick”, Kind of makes me wish I hadn’t retired!

      • Sandy

        Guns, I remember seeing that test in OCS back in 86 on a film when we were doing an engineering class. Agree with you that we need those big guns back – nothing says gunboat diplomacy like a battleship or something that can lob “volkswagons” into an area. TLAMs are great but too expensive and can be shot down. That fighter tailing it proves that. The rail gun has promise, though, for point targets.

        • gunnerv1

          NOS Minneapolis and NOS Louisville are developing an Anti-Ballistic Missile “Round” for the EM Railguns now almost on the order of a Anti-Aircraft from WWII round where the target has to fly into a cloud of shrapnel, Like a 105 mm “Bee Hive” only without the Darts.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            Another big difference is, WW2 “AA” rounds had Proximity Fuses (1st Generation) Smart Rounds. Current Rail Gun Projectile “Dumb Round” NO BRAIN, No explosive Warhead either. Equals NO Shrapnel to fly into…

          • gunnerv1

            It’s being developed now. Follow up everything on the Rail Gun on YouTube, you’ll eventually find it. (I stumbled on to it). Just about all of the Sailors I had as students at Gunnery School (Great Lakes, IL) are now retiring, so most of my contacts are fading out, I’m part of the “Old Guard” when we had the wildly inaccurate Rocket Assisted Projectile (RAP) Round for the 5’/54 Cal. Projectiles. With today’s state-of-the-art electronics, I’m more that surprised the powers that be haven’t tried to bring them back. RAP extended the 5″ range from a mere 13 miles to over 50 miles, but it’s still a Chemically (explosive propellant) propelled munition, not as sexy as a Rail Gun. .

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            Already now about them, Extended Range Artillery Round, NOT an Interceptor Round. At least NOT YET…

          • gunnerv1

            The Rail Gun Round is being depicted as an Interceptor for Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and not for a direct hit, but just be close so the the “Target” has to fly through the Shrapnel.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            Not fast enough. Terminal Velocity of ICBM is ~28,000m/s…

          • gunnerv1

            Rail Gun is supposed to be clocked a Mach 7. Don’t forget (and I coined this) “What is Science Fiction now, Will be Science Fact in 30 years” (Just look a PC’s and Cell Phones).

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            Big difference between Rail Gun speeds and Artillery Round veloicity. 2to1, in Rail Guns favor…

          • gunnerv1

            I know, Standard (Initial) velocity for the 5″ 54 is about 2700 FPS. Rail Gun Velocity will leave Chemical Propelled munitions in the dust (No Contest).

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            On you previous statement, follow-up. It would be like trying to hit a Meteorite with a Rifle Bullet, not to mention the fact. That an ICBM on reentry is going to be Ionizing the air making a radar lock virtually impossible…

          • gunnerv1

            We have already had ICBM (test) (started with R. Reagan) hits with anti ballistic missiles, direct hits but still hard to do (I don’t know how many failures before they “connected”, but it has been done. This is getting out of my scope as most of the info is gleaned from other sources. I’m mostly “Conventional Ordnance” and my few contacts at the NOS’s are not into divulging info without permission.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            You just said it “TESTS”, controlled experiments. A real conflict you can’t control Is one thing to know where a target missiles is going to be in “time and space”, if your controlling the events. It’s quite another, when your not…

          • gunnerv1

            That’s why you throw up a “Wall of Lead” in actual combat. First ship I was on, we did that, but not at Air Targets (the VC didn’t have Aircraft).

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            What do you mean the VC didn’t have aircrafts. Sure they did, it was called the North Vietnamese Air Force, Mig-21’s, 19’s, 17’s and 15’s plus support aircrafts and helicopters. It may not have been a big one, but it did exist.

            The US. learned the Hard Way at the Battle of Midway and Coral Sea. It’s easier to shoot-down a enemy plane, if the enemy plane hit’s the Shrapnel. Then the Round actually hitting the Enemy Plane…

          • gunnerv1

            I know the NVA and the CHICOMS had aircraft, but not operating in South VN. What we had to contend with was “Shipping”, all the “Junks” and “Sampans”. We would board about 150-200 a day/night to inspect for Weapons smuggling. We only caught about 3-4 in the 18 months I was on that Ship (1 down, 8 to go). 95% of goods came by Trails.

          • Secundius

            @ gunnerv1.

            The actual acronym “VC” meant Vietnamese Communists after the French tried the reoccupy Indochina or French Vietnam after the Second World War. Between the years before France defeat of Indochina and the US. involvement in Vietnamese affairs. OSS (later CIA) pilots using Air America as a cover to make flights into the region. Shorten the world combination of Vietnamese Communists, to VietCom. Like Chinese Communists to ChiCom, well to make the story short VietCom got “bastardised” to VietCon and later back to just “VC”. Some people think that some American’s couldn’t pronounce to word VietCom right, and came up with Vietcon and it stuck…

          • old guy

            The problem is considerably more complex than a hit or a miss. If it is a hit, Items like MIRV dispersal, warhead fragments, missile trains, etc greatly complicate the problem. The obvious solution is “get’im on the rise”, but how? Lasers, perhaps?

          • old guy

            see below

          • old guy

            WAR STORY. My old hero, Harry Diamond and his geniuses, who developed the proximity fuse during WW2, had to work in an un-air-conditioned building near D.C. Being a true smart fella’ as well as a genius, he convinced the powers that be that he needed a cool, iso-thermal environment to properly calibrate the fuse. They installed a huge ammonia unit and the men continued to work in comfort.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Thermostat or Thermistor, any book’s around. he sounds interesting…

          • old guy

            The fuse lab became “The Harry Diamond Laboratory”

          • Sandy

            if they can get some kind of shrapnel round for the rail gun, it would help with area suppression as the kinetic energy and speed of that shrapnel would give it a wide area with devastating effect on land….I’d love to see a CVT fuse in that..let’s hope!

          • Secundius

            @ Sandy.

            Not exactly that easy, WW2 Shells travel at ~3,000-feet/second at a target traveling 300mph + and Proximity Fuses were set a 2, 4, 6 and 10-meters from target detonation patterns. Rail Gun Projectile is traveling ~4,500 to 5,000-meters/sec. at target traveling at least that fast. By the time Explosive Warhead detonates, you’ll have missed the target completely. Also shrapnel round wouldn’t work because of the velocity of shrapnel explosion pattern. Target and shrapnel will never meet, you would have to blanket the entire area. Rate of fire for Rail Gun is only 10rpm and at a few shots, you have to wait for Capacitors to recharge. Before next firing Volley Cycle to begin…

          • Sandy

            brutha…do you work at NAVSEA? I enjoy your technical knowledge – keeps me up to speed…thanks! Did my last tour there in 2006 in SOF Undersea Mobility for ASDS and DDS ops, PMS-399 (was 395, but they split into 394 and 399).

          • Secundius

            @ Sandy.

            Milady. Ballistics and ancient, old, present, and furtur naval warfare my thing. Use to Work-On Fix, Modifiy, and Rearm Attack Helicopters in the Army. History Nut, also Edge Thinker…

          • Sandy

            actually, I’m a man..lol….my last SOF billet was there until I retired and became a “slimy contractor”….lol….you should be consulting on that program!

          • Secundius

            @ Sandy.

            Sorry, those that have called me brutha in past, were all women. Just assumed you were too, plus the fact “Sandy” is non-gender specific. Did you know that the name Georgia, is actually a Man’s Name…

          • Sandy

            well, lol, that’s why I was in SPECWAR – got my butt handed to me daily in the school yard with that name. Lotta men in the north have “women’s names” – big one in PA is Carroll. GOD Bless.

          • Secundius

            @ Sandy.

            Now the feeling, probably spent more time in either the Councilors office and or Vice-Principles Office…Same. Have a go one…

          • Capt Woody Sanford

            Lots of Carrols and Carols here in the South that are males. Also Sandys. Some female Michaels, Joes, etc. Nobody thinks about it. Woody

          • old guy

            What is this? Has this become a social site? When I was a young’n at NAVSEA we kept our shoulders to the wheel, our eyes on the ball and arms around the problem……..Of course it was a bit difficult to work in that position.

        • Secundius

          @ Sandy.

          But, than look at the “other side of the coin”, how useful is a TLAM if you don’t use it. A very expensive Paperweight or “An Expensive Dinner Part Conversational Piece”…

          • Sandy

            nope, I agree that we use it – it can be very useful for long inshore range C+C targets, runways at inland airports, and a host of other things which a targeting board would figure out – just another tool in the tool bag, albeit an expensive one.

          • Secundius

            @ Sandy.

            During WW1, when the US. got involved. Some in the US. didn’t want the field the M1918 BAR Machine Gun, and others thought that captured models could be used against us in the war. But cooler heads prevailed sighting if we didn’t use them, the only thing they were go for is propping doors open. “Use them, or lose them”…

  • Dumar Williams

    Game changer? Oh Please. A slow (sub sonic) weapon while everyone else in the world is buying mach III capable ASMs. It was a piece of junk in the 80’s and nothings changed. Just buy the Brahmos from India and field a REAL threat missile.

    • Secundius

      @ Dumar Williams.

      What part of “Modular” don’t you understand…

      • Dumar Williams

        Modular? WTF? I understand the difference between subsonic and hypersonic. I suggest you google Brahmos, CM-400AKG, DF-21D, P-270 Moskit….then come back when you’re a bit more educated.

        • Secundius

          @ Dumar Williams.

          TLAM is being replaced in 2016. And in the mean time you have a missile with >1,500sm. range, that can loiter in the target area for up to three-hours and has a 1,000-pound High-Explosive Warhead flying just above the wave. If it wasn’t for the “Cursor On Target Arrow” in the Video you’d never no the missile was there. And at last count we have more than 3.500 in inventory. Sound like a pretty good asset to me. Sorry about the Modular statement. I thought you were referring to something else…

  • Sternberg

    If you have to send a chase plane along to guide it, why not just use the chase plane to deliver a weapon?

    • The missile as it works now requires a data link to receive guidance info, so the chase plane can be well out of SAM range and still provide this, so “chase plane” is a misnomer. I also assume they’ll want to slap a new seeker head on some of these so it doesn’t need terminal guidance, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet.

      • Secundius

        @uss_fallujah.

        To paraphrase the acronym, JAFO (Just Another F@#$%&g Observation aircraft/plane. Instead of “chase” plane…

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  • guest

    Ummm… why wouldn’t you just shoot the f18 down with your mpad and ciws the missile? Two birds with one engagement. ‘Course the nayvee is smarter than me, they have cool stealth a20’s and railguns and lasers and stuff…

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