09:40 GMT01 April 2020
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    The US Navy has test fired two Tomahawk cruise missiles for the first time using upgraded payload tubes on the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine North Dakota, the defense and aerospace contractor Raytheon announced in a press release on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy is currently developing a Block IV payload tube, which will more than triple the number of Tomahawks carried on nuclear powered Virginia-class submarines, the release explained.

    "The tests, in the Gulf of Mexico near [the state of] Florida, proved the submarine's ability to load, carry and vertically launch Tomahawk missiles from the new Block III Virginia Payload Tube," the release stated. "The upgraded tubes feature fewer parts and will be even more reliable."

    The Block III launchers contain two tubes that can hold six Tomahawks each, allowing the submarine to carry 12 missiles, according to US Defense Department.

    "As the Navy continues to modernize its subs, Raytheon continues to modernize Tomahawk, keeping this one-of-a-kind weapon well ahead of the threat," Raytheon Air Warfare Systems Vice President Mike Jarrett said in the release.

    The Navy is currently developing a Block IV payload tube, which will more than triple the number of Tomahawks carried on nuclear powered Virginia-class submarines, the release explained.

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    Tags:
    test firing, Tomahawk, Raytheon, United States
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