NAVSEA supports Splendid Missile shots

By David Caskey
NAVSEA Public Affairs

    With the support of NAVSEA's Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), the United Kingdom's Royal Navy recently completed its first submarine firings of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from the HMS Splendid (SSGN 12). Operating out of the Navy Submarine Base in San Diego, three successful flight tests were conducted off San Clemente Island in California.Tomahawk Land Attack Missile being fired from the Royal Navy submarine HMS Splendid.

     "The support of Newport's Missiles Division was integral to the success of the Tomahawk British flight tests," said Royal Navy Cmdr. Steve Dodgson.

     The tests were conducted on Nov. 9, 12 and 18, 1998. These firings, and especially the third launch, a live warhead shot into a simulated communications center target, received widespread media coverage, including coverage by NBC News.

     "Our Missiles Division personnel deserve great credit for the recent success of the Royal Navy Tomahawk flight tests off San Clemente Island," said Peter L. Duffy of NUWC's Launcher & Missile Systems Department. "Our support onboard the HMS Splendid, ashore at the control center and back home at NUWC where the test data was reduced and analyzed, demonstrated our in-depth system knowledge and ability to make a significant contribution to meeting U.S. and U.K. test objectives."

Royal Navy Tomahawk Land Attack Missile in flight towards the target.     The purpose of the test series was to demonstrate a full system operating capability for the U.K. Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) Weapons System. Elements included the planning and distribution of missions from the U.K. Cruise Missile Support Agency.

     NAVSEA provided engineering support, data gathering, analysis and verification of the capability of the Weapon Handling Discharge System to successfully conduct TLAM operations. Additional support was also provided to collect flight test data, shore control station support, and data reduction and analysis of the submarine-unique data.

     The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport has long been an integral part of this project. Prior to the signing of the Foreign Military Sales case in1994, Newport personnel conducted feasibility studies outlining the required submarine modifications and requirements to allow TLAM integration on the Royal Navy's Swiftsure and Trafalger class submarines.

TLAM just before impact.

TLAM after impact.

Here the Royal Navy's Tomahawk Land Attack Missile is seen immediately before and after its impact with the intended target, a simulated communications facility on San Clemente Island, Calif.

(Photos by: Naval Undersea Warfare Center)

Revised: Dec. 15, 1998