A Tactical “Tomahawk” Block IV cruise missile, conducts a controlled flight test over the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex in southern CaliforniaInternationalIndiaAfricaCanberra wants to buy up to 220 of the latest Tomahawk cruise missiles for $895 million to mount on Australian warships, the deal will boost the defense capabilities of the Land Down Under and enhance the degree of interconnection in joint US-Australia military activity, contributing to American operations globally.The US State Department has cleared the sale to Australia of the Tomahawk Military System (TWS), which consists of the All Up Round (AUR), the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TTWCS) and the Theater Mission Planning Center (TMPC). This includes 200 Block V RGM-109E AUR missiles and 20 Block IVs, in addition to spare parts and maintenance services.
All-up-round means the missile is delivered with its housing and all auxiliary components to make it launch ready
© Flickr / U.S. Department of DefenseThe guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missileThe guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile
"By deploying the Tomahawk Weapon System, Australia will contribute to global readiness and enhance the capability of US Forces operating alongside them globally," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency release states
Under the AUKUS and Five Eyes alliances, the US gradually is beefing up the military potential of its allies encircling China. Thus, cruise missiles to Japan are also on the horizon, in addition to Canberra getting nuclear subs and other arms sales. US Admiral John Aquilino stated that the current friction is ‘alarming’ and that the US is in “robust competition” with Beijing. Chinese officials have regularly warned Washington not to escalate the level of tension in the region.World’Red Line That Must Not Be Crossed’ Top Chinese Official Hopes US Abandons Its ‘Zero-Sum’ Rivalry2 February 2021, 09:11 GMT
What is Tomahawk?
© AFP 2023 / KIM JAE-HWANMk-41 Vertical Launch System provides from 8 to 64 universal cells to use a large variety of missiles stand-off. This is way more than the outdated rail mountsMk-41 Vertical Launch System provides from 8 to 64 universal cells to use a large variety of missiles stand-off. This is way more than the outdated rail mountsThe RGM version of Tomahawk is for the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) which means Australia will use them on 3 of their Hobart-class destroyers (48 launch cells) and 9 of their planned Hunter-class frigates (based on British Type 26 design) with 32 launch cells each.© Flickr / Think Defence Proposed look of the future Type 26 frigate Proposed look of the future Type 26 frigateThe Block IV Tomahawk missile is the most widely used version of the RGM-109, introducing an ability of loitering over the area and scanning targets with its DSMAC camera, making the operator able to manually choose or change the target.The most modern modification including 3 iterations in production – the basic RGM-109 Block V with contemporary digital navigating and communication systems, the Block VA with a brand new guiding system and radar and the Block VB introducing a new Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System (JMEWS) to bolster its capability of dealing more damage against a variety of targets.