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Surface Forces: Too Good To Replace
   Next Article → PROCUREMENT: Yet Even Still More Strykers
March 5, 2010: The U.S. Navy has now received 2000 of the new Tomahawk (BGM-109) Block 4 missiles, since production began five years ago. The Block 4s cost about $1.7 million each. The missile weighs 1.4 tons, has a range of 1,500 kilometers and carries a half ton warhead. It moves to its target at a speed of 880 kilometers an hour. The original Tomahawk was introduced 26 years ago, and nearly 7,000 have been manufactured. The U.S. Navy has fired nearly 2,000 in combat and training.

The Block 4s are also getting upgraded so that they can hit moving targets. This is mainly intended to turn the Tomahawk into an anti-ship missile, although it can also hit moving land targets. The Tomahawk has been a primary land attack weapon for surface ships and submarines since the 1990s. The Block 3 entered service in 1994, but the Block 4 was a big upgrade, adding GPS and the ability to go after a different target while the missile was in flight.

The United States is developing a successor to the Tomahawk cruise missile, that will be heavier (2.2 tons), have a longer range (2,000 kilometers) and with a larger (one ton) warhead. The new missile will be stealthier, and use a combination of guidance and targeting systems (to improve the chances of success). Price will probably be the key factor in whether this new missile ever enters service. The new Cruise Missile XR (for Extended Range) will probably cost at least twice as much as the current Tomahawk.

The cruise missile, when it showed up in the 1980s, was one of the first UAVs, it just wasn't reusable. But UAVs that carry bombs and missiles, and can be reused, are going to provide competition for a new, $3 million, Cruise Missile XR.

 

 

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INFINIBLUE    Too good to replace   3/5/2010 1:42:14 PM

Is the USA able to build a Cruise Missile that match the speed of the India and Russian built C.M which is up to 3,000 m.p.h??

 
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lightningrod       3/5/2010 2:15:03 PM

Is the USA able to build a Cruise Missile that match the speed of the India and Russian built C.M which is up to 3,000 m.p.h??




Can they? Yes they can. Do they want to?
 
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Photon       3/5/2010 9:09:43 PM
I think the issue over cruise missile design is based on what its owner wants from cruise missiles.  In case of the US ...
 
1.  Long reach:  Likely wars involving the US consist of being able to inflict damages to opponents from as longest range as possible.  Likely opponents of the US are far away from its turf.  Very important.
 
2.  Sensor and navigation technologies:  Equally crucial for the US; attaining long range means a missile is not likely to carry a lot of explosives (unless armed with a nuke).  However, you do not need a tremendous amount of raw explosive power, if its sensor and navigation capabilities are excellent.  Targeting capabilities > raw explosive power.
 
3.  Speed:  Attaining raw speed sacrifices range.  A very fast cruise missile does not meet US warfighting requirement, if it does not offer adequate standoff range.  Range > speed.
 
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Nichevo       3/6/2010 1:01:16 AM

Is the USA able to build a Cruise Missile that match the speed of the India and Russian built C.M which is up to 3,000 m.p.h??



Hamilcar to the white courtesy phone...
 
Infiniblue, search the threads for "Vandal" or maybe it was "Coyote" and I think you will find that we have had Mach 4 sea-skimmers since what, 1955?  We just don't use them (except to train against, so don't worry, we can shoot 'em down with the good old Standard missile, also a 1950s legacy) because we think this is better, for reasons including those posted above.  Don't worry about our rockets, the US is the only country capable of leaving the solar system (Voyager), so I think we have all the speed we need. 
 
You may have also noticed that our 1960s fighters (e.g. the F-4 Phantom) had higher top speeds than a/c like the F-22 do today.  Why?  Our tech not as good as it was then?  Or maybe top speed isn't as important as other things? 
 
Put it another way.  How is your sex life?  Is faster always better there?  What does your gf say? ;>
 
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INFINIBLUE       3/6/2010 12:43:11 PM
Thank you for your added comments. Very interesting. I guess my question should have read: Does the US have in its arsenal somw weapon that can shoot down those very fast CM (Coyotes)?
 
As far as my sex life is concerned: "she smiles a lot". That might very well be the answer to your question.
 
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Nichevo       3/6/2010 10:47:28 PM
Like I said, Infiniblue, if the Standard missile (SM-3, or some SM-2 blocks IIRC) will shoot down a satellite, it'll shoot down a sea-skimmer.  There is also ESSM; and for air-launched defenses there's the old Phoenix and perhaps AMRAAM.
 
And as I was saying in a post that got wiped when SP evidently went down - sometimes, like with your gf http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/emwink.gif" align="absmiddle" border="0" alt="" />, sometimes you want fast and sometimes you want slow.  One problem with hi-speed is you see it coming.  Time, say, to leave the building it's targeted at and get into a shelter.  The BGM-109 can literally sneak up on you - for instance, you can program it to come by the most advantageous route - and you never see it coming.  Hi-speed also is bigger, costs more, and is more prone to fail.  How do you think a Mach 3 sea-skimmer likes to run into a ten-foot wave?
 
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Nichevo       3/6/2010 11:24:00 PM
again, search threads for Vandal, Coyote, or more to the point, Sunburn
 
You will find stuff like this:
 
 
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Nichevo    scratch that, bad link   3/6/2010 11:25:46 PM
again, search threads for Vandal, Coyote, or more to the point, Sunburn
 
You will find stuff like this.
 
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gf0012-aust       3/7/2010 1:38:59 AM
 search for
 
vandal
coyote
sea snake
 
or any decent history in detail about Talos.
 
The USN has been playing with supersonic AShM for over 50 years
 
 
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WarNerd       3/7/2010 5:04:02 AM

I think the issue over cruise missile design is based on what its owner wants from cruise missiles.  In case of the US ...
 
1.  Long reach:  Likely wars involving the US consist of being able to inflict damages to opponents from as longest range as possible.  Likely opponents of the US are far away from its turf.  Very important.

2.  Sensor and navigation technologies:  Equally crucial for the US; attaining long range means a missile is not likely to carry a lot of explosives (unless armed with a nuke).  However, you do not need a tremendous amount of raw explosive power, if its sensor and navigation capabilities are excellent.  Targeting capabilities > raw explosive power.
 
3.  Speed:  Attaining raw speed sacrifices range.  A very fast cruise missile does not meet US warfighting requirement, if it does not offer adequate standoff range.  Range > speed.

4.  Signature:  Speed causes friction, which produces heat.  Heat is the anti-stealth, makes you easy to spot with passive equipment and damages coatings and antenna for stealth systems and countermeasures.  It is not that much of a problem if the target only has the time from when it spots the missile coming over the horizon till it arrives to respond, but if the target is tied into aircraft, drones, or satellites to provide advance warning the advantages all shift to the defender because now it is the missile that does not have time to deploy countermeasures against defensive fires in depth.
 
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