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US Navy Warfare Center Division Conducts Production Acceptance Test of Tomahawk Cruise Missile.

| 2015
Naval Forces News - United States
US Navy Warfare Center Division Conducts Production Acceptance Test of Tomahawk Cruise Missile
The US Navy's Tactical Tomahawk missile underwent a successful production acceptance test March 19 using functional ground test (FGT) capability at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division's (NSWC IHEODTD) Large Rocket Motor Test Facility in Indian Head, Maryland
Navy Warfare Center Division Conducts Production Acceptance Test of Tomahawk Cruise Missile
Preparation of a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test

The Tomahawk land attack missile - managed by Naval Air Systems Command's (NAVAIR) Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO(U&W)) - is an all-weather, long-range, sub-sonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare, and is launched from U.S. Navy surface ships and submarines.

"This latest FGT - which is the 84th we've conducted in the past 25 years - was in support of the RGM-109E Block IV, Vertical Launch System (VLS) full-rate production lot acceptance," said NSWC IHEODTD's Michael Spriggs, senior engineer and FGT test conductor. "For the test, we used a single, representative missile from the full-rate production line to demonstrate the capability of this lot to perform mission requirements. The data we collected from the test will be used to verify the manufacturing processes and quality of missiles produced."

During the test, the missile is exercised at the system level as it would be in an operational flight through the detonation command, except that the missile is restrained in a specially designed test stand and is equipped with an inert warhead.

"After 'launch,' real-time, six-degree-of-freedom accredited mission simulation software provides inputs to the missile's guidance system to mimic flight, targeting and detonation. The missile 'flew' for about an hour and 45 minutes before it successfully acquired the target," said NSWC IHEODTD FGT software lead Mike Gardner.

Because the missile remains intact, special instrumentation can be applied and thorough post-flight inspections can be conducted. "Preliminary assessment indicates this missile performed as expected and all test objectives were achieved," said Spriggs.

According to Spriggs, the FGT program at NSWC IHEODTD began in 1990 as a basic test capability to support NAVAIR's Tomahawk Weapons System Program Office (PMA-280), and has evolved along with the missile to support all variants. In addition to acceptance testing, FGTs are conducted to verify new missiles; assess service life of aged missiles; monitor stockpiled missiles; or observe newly engineered components.

"We anticipate conducting the next FGT later this fiscal year to sample a capsule launching system variant," said NSWC IHEODTD's Phillip Vaughn, FGT program manager.

the Navy's planned purchase of 214 Tomahawk Block IV missiles for fiscal year 2015. With a range of approximately 1,000 statute miles, the Tomahawk Block IV missile is a surface- and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon. Tomahawk is designed for long-range precision strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets. More than 2,000 Tomahawks have been employed in combat. More than 500 Tomahawk flight and production validation tests have been completed. The missile is integrated on all major U.S. surface combatants, as well as U.S. and U.K. sub-surface platforms, including the Los Angeles, Virginia, Ohio, Astute and Trafalgar class submarines.
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