This coverage is of the Navy's Tomahawk Cruise Missile being launched from a Navy A-6 Intruder aircraft.
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Official U.S. Navy Film Released by Department of Defence
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Background: This coverage is of the Navy's Tomahawk Cruise Missile being launched from a Navy A-6 Intruder aircraft.
On May 26, a U.S. Navy Tomahawk Cruise Missile successfully demonstrated a high degree of accuracy that would be suitable for delivery of conventional munitions on fixed targets.
After being launched from a Navy A-6 Intruder aircraft near the California-Nevada border, the missile enters its terrain following mode and is navigated autonomously to the target area using its Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) guidance system. The missile can be seen making course corrections as it performs a complex series of TERCOM updates matching the terrain below with maps stored in the computer in the guidance system.
Once over the runway at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, the missile makes a slight course correction to fly over the centre of the runway. Pinpoint accuracy at the runway target is achieved during terminal homing by a Navy-developed Scene Matching Area Correction (SMAC) system which uses a photographic method to refine the final guida???e manoeuvres to zero the missile in on target.
The white dot (or flash of light) is from a flash strobe triggered by the missile guidance for purposes of the test to indicate when the computer calculated that the missile was right over the target. This flash of light also triggers the dispensing of the submunitions which can be seen releasing from the missile, developing parachutes and making impact with the target area.
These were inert submunitions, no explosions resulted. Slow motion of this action follows.
The Tomahawk is currently being developed by the Navy in a nuclear armed land attack version and a conventionally armed anti-ship version.