The contract award was announced September 12, according to a Raytheon press release. The US Navy has had its eyes on the Tomahawk as a short-term solution for a long-range anti-surface missile since at least 2015, according the US Naval Institute News.
The deal is part of a Rapid Capability Development program "to meet urgent fleet requirements for defeating emerging maritime threats worldwide," the company said Tuesday.
According to Capt. Mark Johnson, Tomahawk program manager at US Naval Air Systems Command, "Tomahawk’s new multi-mode seeker will add even more capability to this already advanced missile."
Each individual Block IV Tomahawk, named after the characteristic stone axe invented by Algonquin Indians in America’s early days, costs $1.87 million. They were originally designed for US Navy submarines and surface ships to conduct strikes against land-based targets and first entered service in 1983.
In April, the USS Ross and USS Porter fired 59 Tomahawks from the Mediterranean Sea at the Syrian government’s Sha’irat Air Base in Syria’s Homs Governorate in retaliation to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged chemical weapon attack against civilian targets in Idlib, Syria.
"Soon the weapon will defeat moving maritime targets," Johnson said in a release, adding, "enemy vessels will not elude Tomahawk."