• Short Summary

    The General Dynamics Tomahawk cruise missile has a lightweight aluminium airframe designed for maximum flight performance.

  • Description

    SCOPE: This coverage is of the testing and development of Navy and Air Force cruise missile prototypes.


    Sea Launched Cruise Missile

    The Convair Division of General Dynamics and the Vought Systems Division of LTV are the companies competitively developing the Tomahawk Cruise Missile air vehicle. This particular competition will end in April 1976. McDonnell Douglas Corporation Astronautics Company, is the prime contractor for the strategic cruise missile guidance set during the system integration stage of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile development.

    The Sea Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) will be adaptable to air, surface and subsurface launch platforms and will have both strategic and tactical applications. It has a handling weight of approximately 4000 pounds, and is capable of being equipped with a nuclear warhead. It will present an extremely small target due to its low flight profile, making it difficult to counter.

    After ejection from a torpedo tube the missile is powered underwater by a solid propellant rocket motor which uses thrust vector control to establish and maintain a stable trajectory through the water to surface broach.

    Once airborne the wings and aerodynamic control surfaces are deployed from their stowed positions within the cylindrical missile body. The missile, which is over 20 feet long and 21 inches in diameter, is designed to operate on a heavy hydrocarbon fuel. It will propel the missile at high subsonic speeds at low terrain following altitudes in a weather conditions.

    Montage of missile cloudcups

    Missile is loaded into capsule

    Encapsulated missile is loaded into torpedo tube

    Tube being lowered and submerged

    Underwater launch

    Missile in flight.

    Animation of General Dynamics Cruise Missile.
    40 ft

    Animation of LTV's Cruise Missile.
    40 ft

    Cruise Missile wind tunnel tests to study development of air control surfaces.
    12 ft

    Cruise Missile torpedo test firing from a torpedo test ship off Newport, R.I.
    11 ft

    Launch of an inert test vehicle from the USS Hawkbill (SSN 666).
    9 ft

    LTV Cruise Missile.
    6 ft

    Tests of booster Engine.
    7 ft

    Outdoor Blast test vehicle. This enables scientists to study the protechnique separation of the booster and the deployment of the aerodynamic control surfaces.
    8 ft

    Model -- LTV Cruise Missile and testing of aerodynamic control mechanisms.
    9 ft

    Demonstration of liquid fuel in chamber. Purpose of this test was to study fuel flow to the engines under varying conditions.
    14 ft

    Wind tunnel tests.
    8 ft

    LTV Cruise Missile test firing from a torpedo test ship.
    32 ft

    Demonstration of a missiles' safe operation from a test aircraft in flight.
    9 ft

    Cruise Missile on army vehicle.
    5 ft

    Black Leader.
    2 ft

    Test model of Air Launched Cruise Missile.
    32 ft


    orig of 1768/76

    Please credit Department of Defense in title or commentary. This motion picture released to CBS for duplication and distribution to interested television and newsfilm pool members. This original footage may not be cut and is to be returned within 72 hours to the Department of Defense Audio Visual Acquisitions Branch, Room 2RE 773, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The General Dynamics Tomahawk cruise missile has a lightweight aluminium airframe designed for maximum flight performance. It can be launched form a variety of existing submarine, surface ship, aircraft and land platforms.

    The missile is encased in a protective capsule of stainless steel for ease of loading and handling. The rugged capsule also protects the missile from severe shocks, such as those caused by depth charges that detonate near the submarine.

    The encapsulated missile is loaded into a torpedo tube in preparation for underwater launch at the Naval Undersea Center, San Clemente Island.

    The torpedo tube's hydraulic forces eject the missile from the tube and the capsule.

    Clear of the torpedo tube, the booster engine ignites and the missile steers itself to the surface using the jet-tab control system on the booster.

    Once out of the water, and still under booster power, protective covers are jettisoned and the tail fins extend. Then, at booster termination, the wings and jet-engine inlet scoop deploy and the booster is jettisoned.

    On this first underwater launch and boost/glide test, the missile climbed to an altitude of 1,100 feet and glided over the range for two miles -- all as scheduled. For this test, the missile was not equipped with the air-breathing engine that is used for cruise flight. Integrated engine/airframe performance has already been demonstrated in a separate series of full-scale wind tunnel tests.

    which compares pre-programmed geographical features on ??? flight plan with geography the missile ??? during actual flight.

    A full range of programmatic and technical options (including the possibility of angle integrated program, and the use of advanced fuels) are being preserved until improved cost and performance data can be obtained and evaluated.

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