|Tomahawk Demonstrates Y2K Readiness |
Tomahawk Demonstrates Y2K Readiness
Memorandum for Correspondents No. 072-M, Monday, 17 May 1999.
A Navy Tomahawk cruise missile successfully completed a Y2K readiness test May 11 during an operational test launch from USS SAN FRANCISCO (SSN 711), a submerged Los Angeles class submarine. The missile flew a land attack mission profile to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division land range at China Lake, Calif.
This Y2K test was one of several this year that have demonstrated Tomahawk's readiness for the year 2000. Tomahawk will also participate in a Y2K Fleet Exercise in late summer.
During the latest test, all clocks associated with the launch process were advanced to Feb. 29, 2000. The test mission was fired the next day with all system clocks indicating March 1, 2000. Although all equipment had been individually tested and certified Y2K compliant in a laboratory environment, this was the first beginning-to-end Y2K demonstration of the weapon system culminating in an actual launch of a Tomahawk from a fleet submarine.
Seconds after launch from the submarine's torpedo tube, the Tomahawk missile transitioned to cruise flight. It flew a fully guided 575-mile test flight using Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) navigation to a target and recovery site on the China Lake range. The missile's parachute recovery system was activated as planned. The missile was safely recovered and will be refurbished for future use.
This was the second launch of a Tomahawk test missile by USS SAN FRANCISCO. USS SAN FRANCISCO launched a Tomahawk test missile on Monday, May 10, which flew 43 seconds before the missile failed due to a non-Y2K reliability failure.
According to Navy officials, Tomahawk is the nation's "weapon of choice" for critical, long-range, precision-strike missions against high value or heavily defended targets. Tomahawk missiles are deployed throughout the world's oceans on various surface ships and submarines. Future variants will incorporate new technologies, providing new operational capabilities and new missions while significantly reducing acquisition and life cycle costs.
As with all Tomahawk test flights, air route safety was carefully planned in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). For safety purposes, the Tomahawk could have been guided by commands from a safety chase aircraft. This was the 370th Tomahawk flight test.
For more information contact Cathy A. Partusch, public affairs officer for the Program Executive Office, Cruise Missiles and Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, at pager number (888) 534-6628, or Bob Holsapple, public affairs officer for Science Applications International Corp., at (703) 414-3981 or pager number (800) 376-3440. For more information and photographs of Tomahawk, visit the Internet at www.peocu.js.mil and click on PAO.