How much damage does a Tomahawk missile do?

I know that they deliver 2000 lbs of explosive, but what does that really mean? Would it level a sports stadium? WOuld it take out a city block?

Or would there just be a swimming pool sized hole in the ground?

You mean, short of nuclear-tipped? Not sure, but I know they used them to punch through barriers in Desert Storm like airplane bunkers that were bomb-proof (i.e., they couldn’t drop a bomb (again, short of nuclear-tipped) that was big enough to break through. I know they use them for very specific targeting, though, like power plants or bunkers, rather than just “the entire city.” That’s what B-52’s are for.

Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) are multi-purpose and can carry a range of payloads:

[ul][li]Conventional: 1,000 pounds Bullpup, or[/li][li]Conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets, or[/li][li]WDU-36 warhead w/ PBXN-107 explosive & FMU-148 fuze, or[/li][li]200 kt. W-80 nuclear device[/ul][/li][/quote]

The nuclear version is known as TLAM-N and I doubt will ever be fire in Afghanistan (I hope). The ‘Bullpup’ is more correctly a 1,000-lb WDU-25B semi-armour piercing conventional explosive warhead, so called since it was developed for the Bullpup missile in the 1950s. That version is known as the TLAM-C (or TASM for anti-ship versions), and I’d guess it’s the one being used in Afghanistan. The TLAM-D is the fancy munitions dispenser:

From here and here.

To translate Crusoe’s info: Basically, either lots of basketball-sized divots, or a midling-sized swimming pool. Unless you go for the W-80, in which case, several square miles of scorched earth.

Oops. I forgot: no point in quoting if it looks like Tom Clancy gibberish. Ta, Tranquilis!

Lots and Lots of damage at £700,000 each x 50 fired yesterday = alot of damage to the tax payer (£35000000) , good thing the Tomahawks fired by the British SSGNs were paid for and supplied by the American folks

but then since Kosovo apparently nuclear armed ones have been converted to conventional explosive as they fired so many they nearly ran out

When one considers the planning, fuel, and extra aircraft needed for a high-risk mission, espcially a single-weapon mission, the TLAM makes sense, in certain cases. A cruise missile is certainly a casualty-adverse politician’s best buddy, and they tend to be over-used, but they’re not just a drain on the wallet, and they certainly allow us to increase the bombs-on-target without requiring larger bases, more aircraft in the region, and so on, so they also have geo-political utility, as well: By using cruise missiles, we can make it easier for our regional allies to make our presence pallatable to their people (Look! It’s just a small handful of airplanes… ).

Not trying to steal your thunder, Crusoe, you just beat me to the good stuff… :wink:

Maybe the nuke would be cheaper for the amount of dammage? Perhaps they would only need one or 2 instead of 50.

Most certainly, but what of the political cost? Not to mention the fallout (also political). :slight_smile:

Seriously, though, note that a TLAM-N (including warhead) costs quite a bit more ($) than a TLAM-C. There is also considerably more “collateral” damage.