11:45 GMT20 September 2020
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    The US Navy is including funding for 66 tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles in its $8.5 billion request to fund overseas contingency operations (OCO) for the 2018 fiscal year. These projectiles will replace those launched by US forces over the last year in Yemen and Syria.

    In order to save money by buying in bulk, the service is looking purchase 100 of the missiles, which cost around $1 million each. Adding in base budget funding and OCO, the projectiles package will cost about $381.6 million in total. 

    According to Defense Tech, these funds will also pay for modernization kits set to be installed in the 2019 fiscal year.

    Five Tomahawks were launched from guided missile destroyer USS Nitze in October 2016, destroying three Yemeni coastal radar sites controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels that had fired anti-ship missiles at US vessels the day before.

    Since March 2015, a US-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been carrying out airstrikes against the rebels, who have controlled the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa since 2014. The coalition supports exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee the country after Houthis took over the presidential palace and placed him under a kind of house arrest.

    The most recent missile strike came in late April, when US destroyers Porter and Ross fired 59 Tomahawks at Syria’s al Shayrat airfield, in response to an alleged chemical gas attack that killed dozens of Syrians. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vehemently denied any involvement, calling the allegations “100 percent fabrication” and saying the US used the incident as a pretext to launch a strike. 

    Infrastructure was damaged and 20 aircraft at al Shayrat were destroyed as a result.

    Prior to the strikes in Syria and Yemen, Tomahawk missiles had not been used since 2014, when they were employed in operations against Daesh positions.


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    military funding, missile, Tomahawk, US Navy, Syria, Yemen, United States
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