Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya: Navy running short of Tomahawk missiles

The Navy could run out of Tomahawk missiles after a fifth of the Navy stockpile has been used against Libya, sources disclosed yesterday.

Defence insiders say as many as 12 of the weapons have been fired from the hunter–killer submarine Triumph in the past four days.

If this is correct, the Navy will have used up to 20 per cent of its 64 Tomahawks in the opening salvos of the war, leading to fears that it is "burning through" its armoury.

The situation could become an embarrassment for the Government if the submarine were the only vessel within range of a number of targets but could not fulfil the mission.

The submarines are stealthy and can loiter offshore unseen before going to depth to fire the Tomahawks.

The Block Four variant of the missile can travel more than 850 miles, can be retargeted in flight and can loiter above a target for more than two hours. (read more)