This evening, United States President Donald Trump authorized a Tomahawk missile strike in Syria. According to news reports, several Tomahawk missiles were launched at Syria. How much do Tomahawk missiles cost? How much did the United States spend on missiles in this attack? Read on.
The Tomahawk missile was created in the 1970s, but it gained notoriety in the 1991 U.S. war in Iraq, Operation Desert Storm. In that war, Tomahawk missiles were used heavily to hit military targets in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Tomahawk missiles were developed by Raytheon and other associated defense contractors as a modular, versatile weapon that could be launched from many different locations and/or platforms. Over the last several decades, Tomahawk missiles have become more and more expensive, due to technology and warhead upgrades. Tomahawk missiles can now be launched from ships as well as other launch devices. Current versions of the Tomahawk missile include features like the ability to look at a topography on land and match it to maps in order to increase accuracy. It can also be reprogrammed during flight, so the target can be changed. Tomahawk missiles can communicate back with base using a satellite link, and they can send images and sensor information about the damage. There are currently plans to turn the Tomahawk into a supersonic device.
The Tomahawk missile program has been going on for decades, and has cost over $10 billion dollars — just for the development. This does not include the actual cost of the missiles themselves. The cost of each Tomahawk missile varies, depending on the type of missile. More simple versions of the Tomahawk missiles cost $500,000. According to preliminary reports by Brian Williams of NBC News, it appears that the missiles used in the Syria attack cost around that much. However, the Block IV versions of the Tomahawk missile, which are more complex and can hit moving targets, cost up to $1.5 million each. The total cost of President Trump’s attack on Syria, then, is between $30 million and $100 million.