MoD buys 64 cruise missiles for Royal Navy

In a move to replenish stocks after the hostilities in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has bought 64 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US government in a deal worth £70 million, it has been announced today.

The precision attack long-range Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) will be carried by the Royal Navy's Trafalgar Class submarines as well as from the new Astute Class submarines when they enter service.

The new missiles, upgrades on the armed forces' existing 'Block III' weapons, will provide greater ability to retarget or abort mission in flight and will have a Battle Damage Indication capability, according to the MoD.

The ability to pre-position the missile covertly in attack submarines gives enormous flexibility to Britain's forces, an MoD spokesperson said.

However, some "limited upgrade work" will be needed to enable the submarine fleet to fire the missile. The adjustments will be carried out by BAE Systems and Ultra electronics in the UK.

Lord Bach, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: "I am delighted to confirm that we will be proceeding with the procurement of this vital capability for the Royal Navy. Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles are a key component of our inventory of precision weapons and have made a significant contribution to operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"This announcement ensures that we will stay in line with the latest US developments of the Tomahawk missile and maintain the updated capability throughout the life of the Astute class submarine."

The missiles are made by the US company Raytheon and supplied to the UK by under the terms of a Foreign Military Sales case.


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