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Tactical Tomahawk first submarine test launch.

The U.S. Navy's new Tomahawk cruise missile, the Block IV, or Tactical Tomahawk, recently soared through yet another first as it was launched from Los Angeles-class submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) in the waters of the Naval Air Systems Command sea test range off the coast of southern California.

The event marked the first launch of the Tactical Tomahawk from an operational submarine launch platform.

The test demonstrated the newly-developed Block IV Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) and the Tomahawk Command and Control System functionality, allowing the launch platform to receive an operational Block IV mission, pass it to the missile and then launch it from a submerged location. The submarine weapons control system (CCS MK2) uses TTWCS to control the Block IV missile prior to and after launch.

After receiving the control signals from the CCS MK4, the missile surged from the capsule launching system, demonstrating its operational submerged launch capability. The missile "broached" the ocean's surface and successfully demonstrated shroud separation, rocket motor firing/separation and deployment of fins, inlet duct and wings as it transitioned to cruise flight for the 814-nautical mile mission to target impact in the NAVAIR China Lake Test Range.

The missile flawlessly navigated the assigned mission through the use of a global positioning system and digital scene matching area correlator updates. The test successfully demonstrated the unique Block IV weapon system communication capability between Tucson, tactical ground controllers and the in-flight missile.

"The success of the Tactical Tomahawk program is only due to the dedication and teamwork of all of the men and women involved," said CDR Willlam Traub, Tucson's commanding officer.

This test continues the Navy's formal government testing of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons System from surface/ sub-surface launch platforms, as the program prepares to enter final operational evaluation phase late this fall.

The missile will become operational in the middle of 2004.

Story by Sandra Schroeder who Is assigned to the public affairs office, Naval Air Systems Command
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Title Annotation:Around the Fleet
Author:Schroeder, Sandra
Publication:All Hands
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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