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UK to upgrade Tomahawk missiles

31st May 2022 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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A TLAM launch from a Trafalgar-class submarine. (Photo: UK MoD)

The Tomahawk land attack missiles operated from RN Astute-class submarines will receive enhanced long-range strike capability and improved protection.

The UK MoD signed a contract on 31 May with the US government to upgrade its existing Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) on all RN Astute-class submarines .

Under the £265 million ($322 million) contract, BAE Systems, Babcock International and Lockheed Martin will provide maintenance and technical support at their UK sites.

The submarines will be armed with an enhanced Block V standard missile, capable of striking at a range of up to 1,000 miles (1,600km).

The upgraded Tomahawk will reach operational capability in the mid-2020s, the same timeline the MoD has set for the last three Astute-class submarines.

The upgraded missiles will make the weapons less vulnerable to external threats due to modernised in-flight communication and target selection, the MoD said in a statement.

Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said: ‘This upgrade will equip our Astute-class attack submarines with one of the most lethal and precise long-range strike weapons.’

DE&S director of weapons Ed Cutts said: ‘Not only will this FMS sustain and improve a proven, crucial operational capability for any future conflicts, it will continue to ensure interoperability with our US allies and the follow-on support arrangements will sustain jobs for UK industry.’

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