Watch an F/A-18 Hornet guide a Tomahawk cruise missile into a moving ship

Feb 13 2015 - 10 Comments

A Hornet performs an airborne pickup of a Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile and guides it into a moving ship target.

On Jan. 27, a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) was tested against a moving target at sea off San Nicolas Island, California.

What is more, the TLAM was launched from a ship and guided into its target by an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

A video of the test was published by USNI News. It shows the missile launched from guided missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG-100) and picked up by the aircraft, fly at low altitude towards the target chased by the Super Hornet and punch a hole through a container on a ship (scaring some pigeons away).

The Tomahawk IV can hit at a range of 1,000 miles and can adjust its flight path to pursuit moving targets. Guidance will eventually come from various platforms, including ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft and, most probably, drones.

Accoring to USNI News, the new Tomahawk variant could serve as a gap filler until the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LARSM), the navalized version based on  the JASSM-ER, will be able to support the Navy’s “distributed lethality” warfare strategy.

H/T to @F22Raptorace for the heads-up


  • phuzz

    Sucks to be a pigeon. You find yourself a nice container to perch on, and then wake up the next day to find that you’re now miles out to sea, then some bastard shoots at you.

    • wiggity

      As the video pointed out, “they survived”.

    • Kevin Moore

      Tell Mr Pigeon to quit crapping on my car and house.

  • McPosterdoor

    Looked like that target was hauling at a pretty good clip, nice.

  • Michael Rich

    It looks so cool going through the container then continue to skip along the water after that, really shows how much punch it has even without a warhead.

  • Byron

    way cool

  • schukoco

    Must work out to find better sea skimming and reduce altitude .. warhead fuse I think click one the spot since container cargo have thin skin.. but no ones know since this is unclassified video..

  • Kevin Moore

    so the new missle defense is to place containers on the deck?

  • George Grosik Jr

    The unofficial nickname for this missile should be “Randy Johnson’s Fastball.”

  • f14rio

    The F18 is flying chase… not guiding the Tomahawk. At least in the video there is nothing said about the F18 guiding.