Jerry Holland is the Vice President of the Naval Historical Fo11ndation and the organizer of the annual Submarine History Seminar sponsored by the Foundation and the Naval Submarine league. The 1009 seminar disc11ssed development of tire weapons systems and the 2010 will address the and command and control systems to deploy tire weapons.
At the end of World War II, the Submarine Officers Conference (a convocation of nag officers actively engaged in submarine commands) endorsed a recommendation to build two types of submarines to launch ballistic missiles (SSB) and tactical missiles (SSG). Through the rest of the decade design studies and development experiments worked to develop the weapons while designs for their launch platforms lingered in the sidelines. Short lived was PROJECT TAURUS that envisioned a barge towed by submarines. PROJECT DERBY to convert LOON rockets-developed from the German V1-to a missile that could be launched from a submarine lasted about three years until detonation of the liquid fueled rocket on a simulated ship demonstrated the catastrophic effects of such an explosion.
After TAURUS was cancelled in 1948, the Submarine Launched Assault Missile (SLAM) began. The program envisioned three weapons systems: REGULUS with an IOC in 1953, RIGEL with a longer range and larger warhead in 1955 and TRITON with a projected IOC of 1960. A guidance program to allow the missiles to be steered to the target by the way of guidance ships, i.e. other submarines, or by aircraft, was designed and installation planned for submarines to be constructed in the mid-50’s. By 1950 contracts were let for REGULUS and in 1952 full scale development was authorized. The RIGEL was cancelled.
Preliminary studies for SSG ‘s began in 1953 coincident with the recommissioning of USS TUNNY (SSG-282), CDR James Osborn commanding. TUNNY operated out of Point Mugu in a development and test program until 1957 when she shifted home port to Pearl Harbor to begin deterrent patrols the next year. USS BARBERO (SSG-317) became the second submarine in the Regulus Program and USS CARBONERO (SS-337) was recommissioned as the first boat to be equipped with the Trounce guidance system. Trounce was planned for SKIP JACK class attack submarines.
In 1956 development of SUBROC began. The following year the TRITON program was cancelled as development shifted to the POLARIS program. In 1958 all cruise missile development programs were cancelled in cost cutting measures. That same year the third SSG, USS GRAYBACK (SSG-574) was delivered and the year after the fourth, USS GROWLER (SSG 577). These two submarines were the first two that were not conversions but designed from keel up for the REGULUS missile. In 1961 the final SSG, USS HALIBUT (SSGN 587) was launched.
REGULUS patrols continued until 1966 when the weapon system was withdrawn from service, replaced by ballistic missile patrols. The submarines involved were retired or converted to attack submarines (SS/SSN).
In the late sixties, the Kaufman Panel recommended development of a Submarine Tactical Anti-ship W capons System that included a dedicated submarine with 20 cruise missiles in 30 inch diameter vertical tubes. The recommendation was rejected but a Jong range anti-ship missile development (Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM)) began. In 1972 the Secretary of Defense (Laird) proposed converting the ten oldest S SBN ‘s (598 and 616 Classes) to submarine launched cruise missiles. The Director of Development, Research and Evaluation (DORE) (John Foster) pushed for a cruise missile (ACM) to be equipped with a nuclear warhead and able to attack targets ashore. In the meantime, HARPOON was encapsulated and used successfully in a submarine tube launched system.
In 1973 the House Appropriations Committee directed the development of a strategic cruise missile to be stopped and the efforts be put into a tactical cruise missile. The Deputy Secretary of Defense (Clements) directed merger of the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) and the nascent Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM). The Air Force was assigned to continue the engine development and the Navy to develop the guidance systems. In the next year the Operational Requirement for both submarine launched sea and land attack missiles was written. A common program was mandated, contracts were let to General Dynamics (ALCM) and LTV (SLCM). Captain Walter Locke was named SLCM Program Manager.
In 1975 the Navy proposed three versions of the missile: T ASM (sea targets), TLAM (N)-a land attack version with a nuclear warhead, and TLAM (C), a land attack version with a conventional warhead. In 1977 a Joint Cruise Missile Project Office was established with Locke as the Director; he served until 1982. The Ground Launched Cruise Missile with nuclear warhead was to be operated by the Air Force in mobile launchers stationed in Europe. Development proceeded through this period in fits and starts because of varying levels of funding and general objections to further deployment of nuclear weapons.
Operational evaluation to support a milestone Ill full rate production decision on the Tomahawk missile began in January 1981. This OPEV AL was conducted in six phases. The first three phases all involved testing of the submarine launched Tomahawk missiles. The sub launched anti-ship version (TASM ), conventional land attack missile (TLAM/C), and nuclear land attack variant (TLAM/N) were tested from January 1981 to October 1983. The ship-launched variants were tested from December 1983 to March 1985. The All Up Round (AUR) was determined to be ” . .. potentially operationally effective and potentially operationally suitable … ” , and full rate production was recommended. In April of l 988 the OPEV AL of the conventional land attack sub munitions missile (TLAM/ D) was tested, determined to be potentially operationally effective and potentially operationally suitable and limited fleet introduction recommended.
As missile improvements were made, follow on test and evaluation continued. Block II improvements were made and tested with all variants in July 1987 through September 1987. Some of these improvements included a T ASM improved sea skimming variant, an improved booster rocket, cruise missile radar altimeter, and the Digital Scene Matching Area Corellator (DSMAC) Block II. In October of 1990, the OPEV AL of the Block III missile began, the first time GPS was used to aid missile guidance. The testing was performed on both surface and subsurface units under various environmental conditions, continuing through July 1994. Both conventional variants (TLAM/C and D) were tested and determined to be ” … operationally effective and operationally suitable … “, with full fleet introduction recommended.
On 27 September 1991 President Bush announced a number of initiatives affecting the entire spectrum of US nuclear weapons. The United States removed all tactical nuclear weapons, including nuclear cruise missiles, from its surface ships and attack submarines. The nuclear equipped UGM-109A TLAM-N Tomahawk was withdrawn from service in 1992. The conventional versions remained operational.
In 1991 288 Tomahawks (TLAM/C) were fired in Operation Kuwait Liberation/Desert Storm from both surface ships and submarines. The accuracy and night patterns became a much-publicized subject by observers. In 1993 and 1995 small numbers were used for selected targets in Iraq and Bosnia (Deliberate Force).
A five-year study of the Tomahawk missile performance began in 1995. The objective of the program was to verify, in a statistically significant manner, that missile performance, accuracy, and reliability met operational requirements and thresholds. The program tested approximately eight missiles each year emphasizing realistic test scenarios, including battle group operations, for missiles launched from Tomahawk capable Block II and Block Ill surface ships and submarines. End to end testing was completed with every mission.
Since the Gulf War, the Navy has improved its Tomahawk missile’s operational responsiveness, target penetration, range, and accuracy. It has added global positioning system guidance and redesigned the warhead and engine in the missile’s Block III configuration that entered service in March 1993. The Tomahawk TLAM Block Ill system upgrade incorporated jam-resistant Global Positioning System (GPS) system receivers; provided a smaller, lighter warhead, extended range, Time of Arrival, and improved accuracy for low contrast matching of Digital Scene Matching Arca Correlator. With GPS, TLAM route planning is not constrained by terrain features, and mission planning time is reduced. China Lake designed, developed, and qualified the WDU-36 warhead in 48 months to meet evolving Tomahawk requirements of insensitive munitions ordnance compliance and range enhancement, while maintaining or enhancing ordnance effectiveness. The WDU-36 uses a new warhead material based upon prior China Lake warhead technology investigations, PBXN-I07 explosive, the FMU-148 fuse (developed and qualified for this application), and the BBU-47 fuse booster (developed and qualified using the new PBXN-7 explosive). Block Ill was first used in the September 1995 Bosnia strike (Deliberate Force) and a year later in the Iraq strike (Desert Strike).
On August 18, 2004, the US Navy awarded Raytheon a $1.6 billion multi-year procurement contract for the purchase of 2,200 Tactical Tomahawk missiles from FY2004 through FY2008. The contract also approved full rate production. The US Navy will receive 2135 missiles worth $1.56 billion and the United Kingdom will take over the remaining 65 missiles valued at $47 million. Production work is scheduled to be complete in June 2011.
The first two launch tests of production Tomahawk Bloc IV missiles were conducted on September 16, 2004, and on September 21, 2004. The first launch was conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Indian Head Division using a Tomahawk equipped with an inert warhead and flying a simulated mission. The second test was conduced by USS STETHEM (DDG-63) destroyer. The production missile was launched from the Burke-class destroyer and flew a land attack mission. These tests validated Tomahawk Block IV’s rocket motor (booster), engine, guidance and navigation systems and the entire weapon.
On December 6, 2004, United Defense was awarded a $I 04 million, if all options are exercised, for the production and delivery of Mk 14 mod 2 canisters in support of the Tactical Tomahawk missile. Mk 14 mod 2 canisters have been specially designed to fit into Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) aboard US Navy’s destroyers and cruisers. The contract includes options for the upgrade of 688 existing Mk 14 canisters and production of 439 Mk 14 mod 2 canisters. Mk 14 mod 2 arc fully compatible with the newest Tomahawk variant.
In June 2005 the US Navy reported its estimated cost for the Tactical Tomahawk program totaling $4.2 billion including production of 3,404 missiles.
In February 2006 Raytheon was awarded a $14 million modification to a previous contract for 65 Tactical Tomahawk missiles for the United Kingdom. The contract provided funds to convert these 65 submarine vertical launch missiles into Tactical Tomahawk Torpedo Tube Launched (TT TTL) missiles.
In March 2006 Raytheon was awarded Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile fiscal year 2006 production contract valued at $346 million. The contract includes 473 missiles for both the United States Navy and the Royal Navy to be delivered from 2006 through 2009. Under this contract the United Kingdom was slated to take over 65 submarine torpedo tube-launched missiles.
TBIP provided a single variant missile, the Tomahawk Multi-Mission Missile that is capable of attacking sea-and land-based targets in near real time. TBIP also enhanced its hard target penetrating capability beyond current weapons systems thus increasing the target set. TBIP provided UHF SATCOM and man-in-the-loop data link to enable the missile to receive in-flight targeting updates, to transfer health and status messages and to broadcast Battle Damage Indication (BDI).
Tactical Tomahawk added the capability to reprogram the missile while in-flight to strike any of 15 preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect the missile to any Global Positioning System (GPS) target coordinates. It can also loiter over a target area for some hours, and with its on-board TV camera, allow the war fighting commanders to assess battle damage of the target, and, if necessary, redirect the missile to any other target. Tactical Toma-hawk would permit mission planning aboard cruisers, destroyers and attack submarines for quick reaction GPS missions.