The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather, long range, subsonic cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U.S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines. Named after the Native American axe, it was initially designed as a medium to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. The Tomahawk, which was introduced by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s, has been improved several times, and due to corporate divestitures and acquisitions, is now made by Raytheon.
Tomahawk cruise missiles are designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at high subsonic speeds, and are piloted over an evasive route by several mission tailored guidance systems, which make them almost impossible to defend against. The first operational use was in Operation Desert Storm, 1991, with immense success, and it has since been used successfully in several other conflicts. The Tomahawk is one of the most important weapons that serves as a deterrent against rogue nations, since its use could reach across continents and take out high value targets without having to commit any service members to harm ways.
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