Military Embedded Systems

New multi-function processor enhances Tomahawk Block IV guidance system


April 29, 2014

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

TUCSON, AZ. A new multi-function processor from Raytheon was demonstrated to enable the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile to navigate to and track moving targets that emit radio frequency signals. Raytheon engineers conducted this passive seeker test using a modified Tomahawk Block IV missile nosecone.

The nosecone was equipped with passive antennas integrated with the modular, multi-mode processor, and then fitted to a T-39 aircraft. The aircraft, while flying at subsonic speed and at varying altitudes, simulated a Tomahawk flight regime. The passive seeker and processor received multiple electronic signals from tactical targets in a high density electromagnetic environment.

The multi-mission processor has been assessed at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6, enabling it to move to the engineering, manufacturing, and development phase, company officials say.

Raytheon is planning an active seeker test with the new processor inside a Tomahawk nosecone early next year. That test look to demonstrate the processor's ability to broadcast active radar and passively receive target electromagnetic information – which is an important step in enabling the missile to be able to strike moving targets on land and at sea.

The test and processor were developed through Raytheon-funded independent research and development investment.

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