- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2003

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The Tomahawk cruise missile, which can be launched from surface ships as well as submarines, is traditionally used for long-range, precision strikes against high-value, heavily defended targets, according to military experts.
Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea launched more than a dozen such missiles on Baghdad around dawn today, local time.
Radar detection of a flying Tomahawk, whose range could exceed 1,000 miles, is difficult because of the missile's small radar cross-section and low-altitude flight.
After launch, a solid-propellant rocket motor accelerates the missile until a turbofan engine takes over for the cruise portion of the flight at speeds reaching 550 miles per hour.
The introduction of the global positioning system has sharply reduced the time needed for a launch.
The 1.7-ton missile, which costs approximately $600,000, can carry a 1,000-pound warhead and additional bomblets.
Tomahawk missiles, introduced into the Pentagon arsenal in 1986, have played a crucial role in several theater operations, including Afghanistan, Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, and Bosnia and Yugoslavia.
Since Desert Storm in 1991, more than 1,000 Tomahawks have been fired with a high degree of accuracy, according to Raytheon Co., which makes the weapons.
In September 1995, 13 Tomahawks were fired from the cruiser USS Normandy against Serbian anti-aircraft batteries in Bosnia's Banja Luka region.
Several dozens also were fired by U.S. forces at the start of the war in Afghanistan in late 2001 against positions of the then-ruling Taliban regime and camps of terror network al Qaeda.

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