What's a Tomahawk missile?
March 19th, 2011
07:38 PM ET

What's a Tomahawk missile?

The Tomahawk cruise missiles that were launched Saturday against Libya are unmanned, single-use, programmable jet-engine missiles used only by the U.S. and British navies.

They fly very close to the ground, steering around natural and man-made obstacles to hit a target that is programmed into them before launch. Newer versions can be reprogrammed in flight but in this case that was not done, at least not yet.

They are different from other unmanned aerial vehicles in that they can only be used once - they are fired, they fly to the target and blow up. End of missile. A Predator and some other unmanned aerial vehicles can carry missiles, hit a target, then continue flying.

Tomahawk missiles normally carry a 1,000-pound conventional warhead. They can also carry 166 combined-effects bomblets, or mini bombs that spread out over a larger area. They can also carry nuclear warheads.

Tomahawks, developed in the 1970s, were first launched operationally by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. They are about 18 feet long with a wing span of nearly 9 feet, and they can fly at about 550 mph. Regarding Saturday's strikes against Libya, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said the missiles were in flight for about an hour, so they were likely fired several hundred miles from their targets.

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Filed under: Libya • Military • U.S. Navy • United Kingdom
soundoff (439 Responses)
  1. Dan

    how much does a tomahawk missile cost? Who manufactures them? Who did we borrow the money from to build them?

    March 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hippie

      About $600,000 per missile (so the US spent 66,000,000 just today on them). Raytheon and McDonnell Douglas build them for us (so Im sure they are very very happy this military action is underway). And most likely we the taxpayers will be paying for them.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Most likely gonna pay? Who do you think is gonna pay? Greece? Spain?

      March 20, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • BC1

      er.....paid for a few years ago, I'd bet.

      But now, we get to pay for brand new ones! Ain't the war economy wonderful?

      March 20, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • notayesman

      US citizens need to rise to the occasion and overthrow our weak govt. that still calls the shots in this country wasting all of our money!!!

      March 20, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • 2ears1mouth

      the $66,000,000 was spent years ago when these missiles were on order. When the equipment reaches inventory they are bought and paid for.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • go2goal

      Yup ...I worked as a finance manager at Raytheon....the Aegis Program and the Tomahawk programs. People can't imagine the waste and over charging by our defense industry establishment....and what our military costs us in being able to afford necessary domestic programs.

      $ 66 M in 4 hours for Obama's decision to declare war on Libya....this is an act of war.....but I imagine many Americans fool themselves into believing this is an act to preserve the peace. We may not legalize drugs.....but as a populous, we act like we're all stoned out of our minds.

      $ 66 M....that's about 1,320 full time math and science teachers for a year. Obama cut the funding for Pell Grants last week.....now he'll have to eliminate the funding for Pell Grants to pay for the Tomahawks.

      What a country.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      "Yup ...I worked as a finance manager at Raytheon....the Aegis Program and the Tomahawk programs."

      Hmmm. Your employer bought you a nice house and put the kids thru school, no?

      Pot meet kettle.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      Each F-35 is going to cost about $150,000,000. That means losing an F-35 would cost more than double 110 Tomahawks.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SenorGusto

      McDonnell? Ummm, no such company anymore... you mean Boeing. If you use them, you'll need to replace them... perhaps a few more aerospace and military providers will hang on to a few jobs?

      March 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • dike

      yeah, just close down the schools there will be enough money to support this

      March 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • supporttomahawk

      why worry about american currency to make more tomahawk missile,
      how about india and ussr russia makes more brahmas missiles,
      india and ussr russia are spending too much waste waste money

      March 27, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      They're in stock and most likely nearing their end of shelf life, to be discarded.
      But, apparently, EVERYTHING must be for profit, huh?
      OK, I'll give you a profit.
      Lower oil prices, because the speculation in the market will be calmer, rather than worrying about Libya's mess interfering with the supply of oil.
      Unless you think that $7.00/gallon would do our economy good, while still in a depression.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • GCC

      Well said, on the shelf life point. The incremental cost to the taxpayer (vs. future refurbishment) is probably modest vs. the $60B+ in annual waste identified by the CBO... or versus the intent of the mission in the first place. Not so sure on the price of oil, though... If the Muslim Brotherhood ends up elected in these new democracies, it is very difficult to predict what their values are likely to be. They are likely more willing to put their populace into subsistence economy to make a point than the despots who live high on the hog. Certainly not saying either option is good, just that the future is unlikely to be rosy even if the tyrants are indeed deposed.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeFu

      Not sure how this could be about oil. Do you know how much US depends on Libya for oil? About 0.5% of all oil imports come from there.

      I love the irony in a leader of such an oppressive regime calling the coalition a bunch of Nazis. Funny stuff.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • dike

      if you think we dont depend on their oil because it is .5%... did you see the price of oil go up due to this?....

      March 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm d

      750,000 and proudly made by Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, AZ

      March 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1GregM

      Isn't it ironic to the max that Arizona is responsible for the building of the missles for OBlunder's war. Considering he sued them for doing his job for him, and all. Guess the state is good for something when he needs it, huh.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Hanning

      1GregM, "OBlunder', really? Honest? That is the best that 'you people' can do? Why bother with cogent arguments when you can make fun of the President's name like a 3rd grader with a 'D' average in school. Do the nation a favor and keep your childish retorts south of the Mason-Dixon line, where they belong. Oh, and why don't you spend you next Welfare check on some of Glenn Beck's gold. LOL

      March 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil, Ohio

      In 1999, Approximately $569,000, see below.
      Plus I thought they banned Cluster bombs?

      General Characteristics
      Primary Function: Long-range subsonic cruise missile for striking high value or heavily defended land targets.
      Contractor: Raytheon Systems Company, Tucson, AZ.
      Date Deployed: Block II TLAM-A IOC – 1984
      Block III – IOC 1994
      Block IV – IOC expected 2004.
      Unit Cost: Approximately $569,000 (FY99 $).
      Propulsion: Block II/III TLAM-A, C & D – Williams International F107 cruise turbo-fan engine; ARC/CSD solid-fuel booster
      Length: 18 feet 3 inches (5.56 meters); with booster: 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 meters).
      Diameter: 20.4 inches (51.81 cm).
      Wingspan: 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 meters).
      Weight: 2,900 pounds (1,315.44 kg); 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg) with booster.
      Speed: Subsonic – about 550 mph (880 km/h).
      Range: Block II TLAM-A – 1350 nautical miles (1500 statute miles, 2500 km)
      Block III TLAM-C – 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
      Block III TLAM-D – 700 nautical miles (800 statute miles, 1250 km
      Block IV TLAM-E – 900 nautical miles (1000 statute miles, 1600 km)
      Guidance System: Block II TLAM-A – INS, TERCOM, Block III TLAM-C, D & Block IV TLAM-E – INS, TERCOM, DSMAC, and GPS.
      Warhead: Block II TLAM-N – W80 nuclear warhead
      Block III TLAM-C and Block IV TLAM-E – 1,000 pound class unitary warhead
      Block III TLAM-D – conventional submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets.

      Last Update: 23 April 2010

      March 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Really don't need to post classified information in a public forum.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • And the winner is...

      The money came from your paycheck

      March 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiljoy616

      Worth every penny. Unlike Iraq and even Afghan this at least makes sense so spend that money I for one have no problems and can we drop on of them on the leader and a few Imam to if possible.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe from Kalispell

      So how much is a soldier life worth? Is a million dollars too much to pay to avoid injury or death to a U.S. soldier? How much to avoid having a fighter/bomber shot down? I think so a, hands down cheap. If we are committed to stopping evil people like Quaddafi-Duck the use of Tomahawk missiles and Predator drones is worth it.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • the vicster


      March 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      General Dynamics made the first Tomahawks, And we didn't borrow money for them.... Most of our missiles are 15+ years old, they've been paid for years ago. It's not like we made them yesterday.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pbcrabshaw

      No, but we will pay for the ones that they build tomorrow.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • eddie2010

      Er – history doesn't agree with you. War tends to drive oil prices UP, not down.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • edpeters

      "I thought they banned Cluster bombs?" I don't think we have ever signed that treaty??

      March 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Percy

      What the Folks forgot to mention is that the missiles WILL now have to be replaced and that is a major cost to Taxpayers.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abin M

      These are stock piled missiles from last 20 years or so......money was already paid for these missiles. US military might be happy about getting rid of those to purchase more missilies. So in effect tax payers will be paying money for the purchase of new missilies.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Hi Dan,

      You obviously don't remember a 747 that fell out of the sky over Lockerbie Scotland. I do. And I remember how that cowardly 'sovereign" leader hid in his tent and thumbed his nose at us afterwards. Ghaddafi needs to die !!! it's a shame that one of out tomahawks didn't fly far enough of course to take him and the rest of his cabinet off at the knees.

      Maybe Israel needs to join the coalition and make quick work of the " supreme leader" of Libya and maybe the rest of his family too.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Karma,it just took awhile for his to come around. He's getting paid back for being a part of murdering the people on that plane.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      Hey no biggie... We'll pay for them with all the oil we'll end up getting out of this deal. Ever notice how most of the countries we bomb have oil? Weird... heh...

      That being said, GO USA!!!! Let's bomb the crap out of this murderer, drag him through town for people to spit on, and then hang him before a live audience. If history is any predictor, a cell phone video of his head coming off will probably circle the internet within minutes of his execution.

      Put 'cha head between ya legs n' kiss that a$$ goodbye, punk! ;D

      March 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      Guess we should get out of Afghanistan. They have ZERO oil.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petrox


      We needed the gas and oil pipeline from Uzbekistan that now goes thru Afghanistan
      into Pakistan. The Taliban wouldnt let us build it so we removed them.
      Haliburton got the contract to build it.
      Plus there is all those poppies.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      And please excuse my brutal nature.. It's just the TeXan in me coming out ;D

      March 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      They usually run about $750,000.00 per copy but there are times when you can go by Lowes and find them on sale where you buy one and get the second for free.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Why don't we just send a sniper in there and take Gadafhi out? It's a hell of a lot cheaper and I think our special forces have the skills needed to take on that task.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • peace

      Who builds these, so I can buy their shares on monday. 66mill in profits in one hour, not bad

      March 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • madoshidotnet

      Phil plays too many video games.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fost

      spent $66,000,000 today? i would think that money was already spent when we bought the missile, unless Raytheon is taking IOU's from the Department of the Navy. This encounter is going to be pretty cheap compared to Iraq and Afghanistan. Many countries have pledged aircraft to patrol this no fly zone so that we probrably won't even need any offensive jets in the region.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Smith

      Tomahawks are obsolete, being replaced with AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missle) when they replace the missiles fired in Libya it will be with JASSM. I would buy stock in Lockheed Martin.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      Amazing that the CNN feel they need to define what a missile is. Is this part of a series? Next, will they cover the definition of a "bullet" followed by "bomb" and...

      March 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • nibbs

      Hey Kadafi, yuou just got Tomahawked lol. wonder how he feels now that he s on the recieving end
      of an American Tomahawk cruise missile lol we should send the USS missouri over there to target practice with those big 16in guns, just pound Tripoli into abis

      March 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackpopeye

      you are talking as if the united states bought the missiles on the spot, right before they launched them. im in the navy and one thing i can tell you is we have a surplus of tomahawks and many other weapons. those tomahawks were probably paid by the tax payers from the 80s. all the navy had to do was merely ship them from our storage facilities to the ship.

      March 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • taxpayer

      The Brits fired some (which they bought from us). But anyway, would you rather have the government give $66,000,000 away in welfare, bailouts, and foreign aid, or buy US-built missles providing may, many jobs for Americans?

      March 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |

      a lot less than a US soldiers life and any US planes...

      March 20, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |

      and since when did you become the accountant or budget handler for our armed forces.. do you know how many cruise missiles we have? do you know how many are decommissioned each year? do you know how many we regularly purchase each year? are you the qualified person to determine how much tax money should be allocated to the armed forces? are you the qualified person to determine what the armed forces should do with this money?

      i am glad we, along with UK, France, Canada, and Italy are trying to stop this tyrant from destroying his own country and/or starting a civil war that would benefit no-one in this entire world. and we are doing it without invading with ground troops, and this time we have a coalition we are working with and the backing of the UN, and we are not going in based on lies. if it stops the conflict, then things will settle down including the price of our precious oil. in the end who cares how much it is... i suggest you stick with bills, costs, and budgets you know best – your own. besides, we are WINNING!

      March 20, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • LC

      The US does not have a ban on cluster bombs / scatter warheads like some other countries.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      A "single use missile" as opposed to the kind you fire and then retrieve so that you can fire it again. Was this article written by a complete moron? Why is the author trying to compare missiles to UAVs?

      March 20, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Praxis

      Indeed. Apparently, the missiles fired from a UAV are mathemagically free as well.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • carvXV

      Not commenting for or against the war, but for the sake of putting things into perspective, we can assume (for the sake of simplifying the argument) that every single U.S. citizen pays taxes, meaning that if we divide the price of a single tomahawk by the U.S.'s population, it comes that to 0.2 cents per citizen (600k/300m).

      600.000 may seem like an obnoxious amount of money, but throwing numbers to prove a point without the necessary context is a pretty cheap way to argue.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. keith

    If you live in the US and you don't know what a Tomahawk missile is...then you have been under a rock for 20+ years

    March 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Or are young and never watched Gulf War I.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlueNorange

      Or never whacked it reading military books in elemenatry school

      March 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeremy

      i agree with keith

      March 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Thinker

      LOL, Keith is absolutely correct. I clicke on the "what is a Tomahawk" out of morbid curiousity: to learn to whom this article was directed. I was expecting "missile things from airplane things that, like, totally hit whatever you want".

      March 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • txpatriot

      @Wzrd1, true but Clinton also lobbed cruise missles into Somalia during the Lewinski affair; I'm pretty sure Bush II lobbed a few into Pakistan until civilian deaths caused him to rethink their use. But I agree some folks won't necessarily know what a cruise missle is (let alone a Tomahawk) so I appreciate CNN posting the short article.

      They don't mention that cruise missiles were invented by the Germans during WWII (the V-1 "Buzz Bomb") so while our technology is undoubtedly more advanced, the idea itself is over sixty years old.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoodAdvice

      @The Thinker

      That's exactly what I thought I was going to find.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • kupuna man

      I thought this thing was designed after Geronimo's Hatchet ??

      March 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      I'm in the US NAVY and I wasn't completely clear on what a Tomahawks capabilities were....so you're "under a rock" statement is flawed...

      March 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomUSMC

      @ JD, you are in the NAVY and don't know what a Tomahawk is??? What do they teach you squids anyway??

      March 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie in Austin

      Dude. Sometimes there are interesting new tidbits about weapons in these puff-pieces. I was hoping to learn something new, so clicked the link.

      As it was, there wasn't anything new about them in this article, other than they can carry a W-80 nuclear warhead, which I didn't know. I knew they were nuclear-capable, just didn't know which warhead they carried.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom & Jerry

      nice try... but your not as smart as i thought, dig through further, thats an assignment =D

      March 20, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      "I'm in the US NAVY and I wasn't completely clear on what a Tomahawks capabilities were....so you're "under a rock" statement is flawed..."
      Do you run the ships store, cut hair or fill the soda machines?

      March 20, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      @thinker....like really...like...well we know that your dad saved like ...um some like money by like not sending you tol ike school.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. sara

    Proudly made in the USA

    March 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sardukar

      Made in China actually

      March 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lone

      Parts, not whole systems, just like most any other product government or corporate.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • mistatk

      Actually, sardukar, sara is correct. The Tomahawk Missile, manufactured by Raytheon, is manufactured by Rytheon's Missile Systems branch, which is based in Tucson, AZ. Where the parts come from for the missile...I'll grant you that I don't know, and perhaps the parts do come from China, or other places outside US borders. However, the manufacturing of the missile itself takes place in the good ol' US of A.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      They are made here in the USA...

      March 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Engine Builder

      The parts were and are made in the USA. Don't ask how I know.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Just like everything else in the military, they were made by the lowest bidder.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hettink

      @engine builder...How do you know??

      March 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      Do you guys really think that the US allows anybody to know how these things are made? You have to have a Top Secret clearance and the "need to know" to even enter the room on a ship where its associated equipment is located.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Skunk Works

      "Engine Builder" is correct. Look up "ITAR" and see why all missile parts have to be made in the USA by US persons only. Foreign parts are not allowed. Violation will lead to severe penalties so defense companies don't dare to import cheap parts or labor.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Giuseppe

      proudly ? is filling them with depleted uranium that makes you so proud ?

      March 20, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      EngineBuilder – why cant you tell me? If I ask you to tell me would you have to kill me after you did?

      March 20, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ajois

      Noway made in China. If it were, it would be priced at $50,000 and you could buy it in Walmart.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • supporttomahawk

      yes tomahawk missile is made in america,
      america can make more many tomahawks missiles / rockets,
      see india and ussr russia are spending too much waste brahmas missiles

      March 27, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dr. Strangelove Starts launch sequence

    I hope they blow this dictator Gadhafi to bits & all his cronies, too. This guy never paid the bill for his bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Don't hold back...all these nutcaes respect is brute force so use bunkerbusters, too.

    March 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiljoy616

      bunker busters yes, better make it a super whopper of one I am sure him and his top cronies are hiding deep deep underground.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wzrd1

    I remember watching TV during Gulf War I. CNN was showing bombing damage and playing along with the Iraqi military, to the point of moving military bodies from camera view in a bunker that was occupied as civilians as a shield for the command bunker beneath.
    Then, a cruise missile came cruising up the street, right at the same level as their window, at the last moment, turning, going in front of their hotel, turning at the next corner, turning again and striking the communications bunker behind them, on the far side of their hotel.
    They left Iraq the next day.

    March 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    Can we assume that the same contractors will be busy "rebuilding" Lybia when this is over?

    March 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Why would aerospace companies be rebuilding a nation's buildings and vehicles?
      I know! Now, you're saying a couple of companies now OWN the UN, right? 15 entire countries, right? Even Russian and China, right?

      March 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • And the winner is...

      Yes, who else... the UN resolution was just passed and very little information was confirmed, nor was much time given for Gadhafi to speak (Don't misunderstand me, I think he is a tyrant and horrible) before we took action. A US conflict on foreign soil is driven in large part by US defense contractors. Don't believe me, when was the military conflict on US soil? Currently how many open conflicts is the US military involved in, and for what reasons? My gas just jumped over a dollar a gallon and only 1% of our oil comes from this country. So since we are not actually protecting American interests, my interest is no declaring bankruptcy this year, what are we doing? And as point, while I adamantly oppose war, I will always support the men and women (including my wife) who serve. I am anti-war, not a military hater.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swagger

      Yeah...Raytheon is going to make a ton of cash in a post-revolution Libya...get a clue bud...

      March 19, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ajois

      Nope. China will take over rebuilding and make sure they corner the oil too. It's like loin makes the kill and hyenas walk to eat the meal. Did US get the copper mining contract in Afghanistan ? Nope. It was China.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stan

    AND they cost $1 million each, and we just launched 110 of them against Gaffy, that is $110 million of tax payer's money gone, and the war hasn't even started yet!!

    March 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Is this that new math I've heard about?
      $600 thousand becomes a million?
      One uses cruise missiles against antiaircraft sites. I guess you'd rather have $30 million airplanes getting shot down and the pilots killed?
      It isn't a war, if you didn't notice, it's a mission that is designed to be VERY short, three days, to be exact, where the skies are kept clear and the rebels given a chance.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiljoy616

      Worth every penny now go pray for miracles I put my money and lethal force.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil, Ohio

      The combined total of the US AND the UK was 110. I'm sure we didn't GIVE them away, the UK had to pay for them.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceri

      Don't you folks ever check the FACTS? Not all were fired by the USA, some were fired by the Brits. That means the Brits had bought those from the Yanks. Now they will have to buy some more from the Yanks to replace them, no doubt. So no, 110 missiles doesn't mean $110m of US taxpayers' money gone. Nice try though.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      $70 million is a small price to pay for putting their air defenses out of service. Just think, if a single Tornado or F-15E were shot down, that's roughly (roughly) $70 million plus two lives. If their SA-5 bags an AWACS or a JSTARS, that's hundreds of millions, plus a plane full of crew.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      Tomahawks are a bargain, and $66M is chickenfeed to the US budget. They destroyed many times their value in Libyan defense assets, and risked no valuable aircraft or personnel. The geopolitical aspect of this war is establishing a Libyan government that looks after its people, doesn't support terrorism or anti-Western activities, and participates in free (oil) markets. The moral aspect is destroying a murderous deranged dictator and protecting the innocent.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Lower oil prices? Your oil prices are already low in America because the U.S. dollar has always been the reserve currency. Those days are coming to an end regardless of what happens in Libya. Don't hold your breath on cheap gas making a comeback any time soon.

      March 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      @Phil, Ohio
      "The combined total of the US AND the UK was 110. I'm sure we didn't GIVE them away, the UK had to pay for them."
      Thank you for stating what everybody else can't seem to grasp!

      March 20, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. And the winner is...

    What CNN isn't mentioning... they cost us, the tax payers around half a million dollars each. The US and UK fired 112, assuming a generous 50/50 split we fired 56, $28 million dollars. More bang for your buck than those $100 mortars you fired off last 4th of July. Oh, and it took 112 missiles to hit 20 targets. The military's batting average is worse than some MLB pitchers. The cost of the Tomahawk program, over $11 trillion dollars circa 1980, do the inflation math.
    Yet still gas, food and housing costs and unemployment rise. Think about it.

    March 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lone

      Thanks, but you don't know the size of these sites or other structures targeted within them. As someone pointed out above, better a missile than a plane costing 30x as much and the priceless pilot/s on board. And 11 trillion over 30 years, even with inflation, is a drop in the bucket in regards to the US defense budget. The Tomahawk, again when taken as cost vs value, is one of these best, as you put it, bangs for the buck. If you want the math the missiles used in this attack cost the price of a cheeseburger for everyone in the US. Not a bad price to pay to give a population the option to change its course.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • PGelsman

      What I wanna know is when are we going to start bombing Saudi Arabia and Yemen?

      March 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • starman

      Cost is 11 billion$ not trillion$

      March 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucky13

      Yes 112 Missles hit 20 targets, but that doenst' mean that a single one missed it's target. Some targets are large and require more than one bomb genius. Also high priorety targets may have been hit multiple times to ensure destruction.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rigel54

      110 to hit 20 targets? Where is your info from, and how detailed? If one target was a Libyan air base with 4 runways, 17 AA missile positions, 2 missile control centers, and air control center and 35 fighter aircraft, would you use 1 Tomahawk. Leave targeting questions to experts.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shamadz72

      I am pretty amused with some of you guys who are too short sighted with the amount it cost US tax payer to fire the 112 tomahawk missiles. I see this more like a show of military superiority and trust me in next year military exhibition somewhere in UAE, US will be able to lock hundreds of billions of military contract

      March 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Easy Does It

    WHat a waste of money. Why dont we spend frances money on bombs instead of our own?

    March 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      Because bombs are dropped from airplanes that would get shot down by the anti-aircraft batteries that were the main target of these strikes.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jack

    I think the latest version of the TLAM costs between 600,000 and 700,000 each. When they first came out years ago they were 1million each.

    March 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • PA_John

      When has anything in the military cost less over time?

      March 19, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • OrionStyles

      When then went from self-guidance to GPS guidance. GPS guidance is phenomenally cheaper.

      March 20, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Danny Hanning

      Wrong answer, Jack. The bill that is pending that WILL decrease the cost of Tomahawk missles to $600,000.00 – $700,000.00. The ones that were fired DID cost 1.1-1.4 MILLION each. That is about $150,000,000.00 that could have been used for; assistance for Homeless Veterans, Tax cuts for the MIDDLE CLASS, fudning NPR or PBS, or even (much needed) Adult Literacy programs here in the USA.

      March 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jimmeh Dean

    Wow, a CNN article with actual facts.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jack

    What makes these things so effective at taking out air defense sites is how low they fly, somewhat stealthy airframe and being a machine they feel no fear at all. They aren't worried about their personal problems back home or about dying on their mission. They just keep flying at the target until they are either shot down or impact it.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • And the winner is...

      Effective? 112 to hit 20 fairly small, not well protect sites...

      March 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • txpatriot

      @And the winner is: and how did you happen to learn the sites "were not well protected"? Do you have some inside info that might be helpful?

      March 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      1 site does not equal 1 target. The payload of a Tomahawk is relatively small. The are precision guided munitions. If you are striking an airbase (1 site) you wouldn't use 1 missile. Think before you post asinine comments.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    Compared to other ways to take out specific targets, a TLAM is a bargain. Especially in terms of loss of life for both sides. Once the air defenses are taken out, cheaper stuff, like JDAMs, can be dropped by airplanes.

    March 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    A half a million per missile


    March 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • wwk

      ok, so Liberals are wrong when they disagree with you and hypocrites when they don't?

      March 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • madoshi

      You're a moron. Shut up.

      March 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Praxis

      Mark, you need to understand the concept of "orders of magnitude". A billion is so much larger than half a million. Including FY 2011 the war in Iraq alone cost $802 BILLION. So far, using the estimates of cost in these comments, the "Liberal" administration has spent 8 one thousandths of a percent of the cost of the Iraq war on the action in Libya. Your claim of hypocrisy does not stand up to scrutiny.

      March 20, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • supporttomahawk

      why worry about million per missile,
      what about india and ussr russia makes too many brahmas missiles

      March 27, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ed

    Oh !! Que escandalo, que escandalo tan hijueputa ! "partida de maricas" !!!

    March 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiljoy616

      Chupamela duro marica el proximo es Venezuela.

      March 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
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