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Tomahawk Cruise Missile


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a flight test version of the Tomahawk, a U.S. Navy long-range, subsonic cruise missile capable of being launched from surface ships and submarines. It flew in four tests from 1976-1978. Operational missiles are launched by a solid-fueled booster rocket and carried to their target by a turbofan jet engine. The Tomahawk flies near the surface at 550 mph and uses satellite-assisted navigation and TERCOM (Terrain Contour Matching) radar to guide it to a target up to approximately 1,500 miles distant. It can carry either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. General Dynamics built this missile and the U.S. Navy donated it to NASM in 1981. Before doing so, the U.S. Navy removed the missile's warhead, guidance system, and engine.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the United States Navy.




Overall: 1 ft. 9 in. tall x 8 ft. 7 in. wide x 18 ft. 3 in. deep, 2652 lb. (53.3 x 261.6 x 556.3cm, 1202.9kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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