Royal Navy's new Yankee £1.5Mn. firecrackers now defending freedom , fighting global terrism,making profits for Raytheon
In 2004 the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) purchased 64 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) Block IV missiles made by US by Raytheon in the United States for £70Mn (Also confusingly called TacTom) .
Another £25M has been used to provide the submarine and ashore command and control systems to allow these whizz-bangs to work and (hopefully) land and cause devastation where the user wants by exploding 1,000 lbs of HE.
The UK has a new capability to deliver long range precision attacks covertly from submarines. We make that £1.5 Mn a pop (ish).
The same effect is produced by one 38JDAM conventional cast iron bomb - a B2 bomber can carrry 40 of them and launch them from 40,000 feet 25 miles from target, at approx £12,500 a pop, but over Kosovo they needed a 30 hour round trip re-fuelling 4 times between their Missouri Whiteman Air Force Base and Kosovo. They also needed 4-7 days re-work on their radar reflective surfaces in special facilities before being used again.
The Royal Navy and Baroness Taylor of Bolton , Minister for Defence Equipment & Support ( used to be MP for Dewsbury) has announced that the T Class submarine HMS Torbay is the first submarine to be operationally equipped with them and that they are fully operational and very unusually for an MOD project - three months earlier than planned. HMS Torbay has just returned from a year-long £8Mn. refit at HM Naval Base Clyde, Faslane and has the improved version of the world-leading Sonar 2076 system from Ultra Electronics.
The newer advanced Sonar 2076 is a fully integrated system comprising bow, flank, fin and towed arrays that can track an object the size of a bus at a distance of more than 50 miles (80km). New communications equipment on HMS Torbay will allow internet access (better than a webcam ?) and allow sending and recept of e-mails, even when the submarine is deep underwater, and a new charting system is due to be trialled on board. She should be ready after sea trials in mid-summer.
The Block IV WMD is considerably more capable than its predecessors - Kills more people ? Destroys more building / tanks / bus shelters ? Flies further / faster ?
Apparently this new version of the Tomahawk has a significantly reduced response time and can fly further, striking land targets from the sea up to one thousand miles away with even greater precision. They are able to re-target or safely(?) abort in flight and can relay images en route. The missile was first successfully test fired from a Royal Navy submarine last June and will and will be deployed in the new Astute Class submarines if and whenever they enter service.
Raytheon's plant at Glenrothes, Fife, makes some of the electronic gubbins, and some of the screwdrivers used to fit this American missile into the submarines were wielded employees of UK companies BAE Systems and Ultra Electronics.
HMS Splendid become the first British submarine to fire the Tomahawk against civilians in the Kosovo terrorism campaign and they were also part of the UK contribution to the Shock and Awe terror build up to the Coalition illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.