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"Types of Tomahawk Warheads" Topic

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08 Apr 2017 3:45 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Types of Tomhawk Warheads" to "Types of Tomahawk Warheads"

752 hits since 8 Apr 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 2:52 p.m. PST

Is there a warhead for the Tomahawk that could be used to crater a runway? I was surprised to see no apparent damage to the actual runways from the recent strike. Also is there a cluster munition warhead?

haywire Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 2:58 p.m. PST


BGM-109A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile – Nuclear (TLAM-N) – Not currently deployed.[4]
BGM-109A Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Nuclear (TLAM-A) with a W80 thermonuclear weapon. Retired from service sometime between 2010 and 2013.[2]
RGM/UGM-109B Tomahawk Anti Ship Missile (TAS-M) active radar homing anti-ship missile variant; withdrawn from service in the 1990s.
BGM-109C Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Conventional (TLAM-C) with a unitary warhead. This was initially a modified Bullpup warhead.
BGM-109D Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Dispenser (TLAM-D) with cluster munitions.
RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM Block IV) improved version of the TLAM-C.
BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) with a W84 nuclear warhead; withdrawn from service in 1991.
AGM-109H/L Medium Range Air to Surface Missile (MRASM) a shorter range, turbojet powered ASM with cluster munitions ; never entered service, cost US$569,000 (1999).[5]

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 3:03 p.m. PST

They had someone on the BBC the morning after saying some Block IVs have a "Bunker Buster" capability.

Grignotage08 Apr 2017 3:24 p.m. PST

It would seem that either the airfield wasnt targetted, or that the Syrians/Russians have the manpower and materiel to rapidly repair a damaged runway.

Hasn't it proven difficult historically to actually shut down a n airfield? At least during WWII…and things have changed techologicallt since, of course.

Ghostrunner08 Apr 2017 3:46 p.m. PST

Grignotage – yes.

gamertom – TLAM-D (see Haywire's list) was designed among other things to tear up runways.

They were retired partly because of the international distaste for cluster munitions. They tend to leave little unexploded bomblets everywhere that can remain a hazard for decades.

The US at least made some effort to remove these types of weapons from use.

zoneofcontrol08 Apr 2017 4:43 p.m. PST

I always thought of Tomahawks as precision weapons that place a warhead ON a target, or In a target if it is a soft target. I don't know how much actual "penetrating" capability they have. I thought the anti-runway capability came more from denial/delay of use rather than actual damage.

Further, I thought air dropped bombs were more useful in damage and destruction to the actual runway itself through a variety of things like hardened casing, multiple explosive charges and delayed fuses.

My understand of the attack was that it was a limited, punitive raid meant to degrade and not necessarily destroy Syria's air capability. I assumed the runways were not targeted for two reasons. First, the missiles not being the right hammer for the nail. Second, to leave the Syrians and their Russian masters with capability to continue with the war fighting duties. Remember that Syria also has about 5 or 6 other airfields that were not attacked. So even if every crumb of this airfield was erased from history, there are still other fields from which to conduct missions.

Gaz004509 Apr 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

Looking at footage of the base, it would appear that the aircraft shelters were targeted and hit. Large craters on top and blackened and blasted interiors, any aircraft and stores/maintenance equipment destroyed. There appears to have been no attempt to crater the runway.

MajorB09 Apr 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

Hasn't it proven difficult historically to actually shut down a n airfield?

The JP233 system was apparently fairly effective at attacking runways.

Lion in the Stars09 Apr 2017 10:52 p.m. PST

The bunker buster warheads could probably crater a runway pretty well, if the fuze can be set for it. I mean, you gotta punch like 24" of reinforced concrete to get down to the dirt to really screw up a runway, anyway.

Big holes in a runway are easy to fix. thick slabs of concrete that are bumped up and down are much harder to fix!

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