The U.S. Navy has received new, sophisticated mission planning software from Boeing [NYSE:BA] for the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon System, which is currently undergoing operational testing in Norfolk, Va.
The new Boeing-developed software allows the Navy to make in-flight course changes for the Tactical Tomahawk, which is used as either an all-weather submarine cruise missile or a ship-launched land-attack cruise missile.
When fielded in April 2004, the new software will give the Tactical Tomahawk new loitering capability allowing it to be reprogrammed in-flight to strike pre-programmed alternative targets and redirected to another target of opportunity. Using a data link to and from the missile, the software supports battle damage assessment.
"This system builds on Boeing's success as a systems integrator and meets the Navy's requirement to build a lower-cost missile system while retaining current capabilities," said John Werle, general manager, Space and Intelligence Systems Washington Operations, for Boeing. "The new mission planning system takes advantage of new computer processing technologies that enable low-level terrain following, threat avoidance and comprehensive route analysis."
The system operates from a desktop computer which increases mobility and offers the Navy up to 75 percent savings on mission planning hardware costs alone.
The advanced mission planning system successfully completed initial testing aboard pre-production missiles in April and July 2003. The current operational tests are being conducted through the end of the year.
Boeing has been the sole-source provider of Tomahawk cruise missile mission planning systems since 1977. In addition to providing software, Boeing provides ongoing maintenance and support to the Navy. Tomahawk is a registered trademark of the United States Navy.