In the first Gulf War in the early nineties, there was an impressive collection of weaponry allied against the Iraqi army to say the least. Among those weapon systems were some of the most sophisticated tanks and aircraft that the world has ever known. Despite this fact, it was a much less well-known weapon system that paved the way with a devastating wave of attacks deep into Iraqi territory that severely crippled Iraqi command and control communications; these attacks were led by a weapon system that would soon be feared across the world that was known as the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. This missile was powerful back then, but the new version and its improved capabilities should make any potential enemy tremble with fear knowing they are out there in the US arsenal.
Why is this Missile so Good to begin with?
Here are some of the things that have made this cruise missile a formidable weapon over the years:
The Tomahawk can go a long way to get its target. Depending on boosters and which version of Tomahawk missile it is, these weapons can travel in excess of 1500 nautical miles; and that does not take into consideration the fact that the platforms that carry them are very mobile themselves.
Tomahawk cruise missiles have been tasked with everything from carrying nuclear warheads (they are no longer used for this by treaty) to being an anti-ship weapon. There is virtually no attack role that these have not been considered being used or actually modified for.
Although the Tomahawk cruise missile was never designed with stealth capability in mind, it has sort of turned out that way. They are very hard to detect with radar because of their small radar signature and they are equally as hard to detect with infrared technology because their efficient turbofan engines give off very little heat signature.
The Tomahawk’s Improved Capabilities
These new features of the future will enhance the Tomahawk’s devastating capabilities even further:
With new engine technology that can speed up and slow down each cruise missile and improved sensors that allow command from various sources; a cruise missile can actually be reprogrammed during flight to strike a completely different target than it was originally launched at.
Raytheon Corp has experimented with the Tomahawk being able to take a reconnaissance photograph and relaying it back to the command and control center; once that has been done it will then go into a loitering pattern until given a target to strike after the recon photo has been assessed.
Turning Reserve Fuel into Deadly Firepower
Many times when a Tomahawk gets to its intended target it has a large supply of fuel left on board. Technology is being developed to turn this left over fuel into what is known as a fuel-air or thermobaric high energy explosion; if there is a large enough fuel supply left onboard the missile, it could make this secondary type of explosion even more powerful than the warhead.
There is a design that is being worked on that would give the missile a Mach 3 plus speed capability; this is being complicated because of the current Tomahawk Missile launch tube size.
The Tomahawk is definitely proving to be a versatile weapon with staying power and now even more firepower.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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