The U.S. Navy has successfully tested improved networking that increase the capability of Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to change targets in mid-flight.
During a February 19 flight test, "a Raytheon-built Tomahawk Block IV missile, launched from the USS Sterett, flew a preprogrammed route while receiving updates from a simulated maritime operations center and from advanced off-board sensors updating the missile's target location," said a Raytheon news release. "Throughout the flight, the missile maintained communications with all the command and control assets and provided updates on its location before hitting the target."
The Block IV Tomahawk includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be redirected in mid-flight. Raytheon delivered the 300th Block IV to the Navy last January.
"Tomahawk's long range gives our commanders increased flexibility in theatre," said Capt. Joe Mauser, the Navy's Tomahawk program manager. "When our ships and submarines are within 100 miles of a coastline, Tomahawks can fly deep inland and strike from a direction the enemy might not suspect."