Raytheon BGM-71 TOW

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Product Type:

Heavy Anti-Armor/Assault missile

Using Service (US):

Army and Marine Corps (USMC)

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Raytheon Company

Stryker Vehicle Firing a TOW-2B Aero Missile

About BGM-71 TOW:





The Raytheon BGM-71 TOW is a heavy anti-armor/assault missile used by the U.S. Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT), the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) and the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle equipped Armor Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) as well as the U.S. Marine Corps and 43 allied nations. The BGM-71 was initially developed by Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1960s. TOW is short for Tube-launched, Optically-tracked and Wire-guided.

TOW missiles can be employed against armor, buildings and field fortifications taking advantage of the missile's inherent precision assault capability against such targets. The BGM-71F TOW 2B Aero is an extended range version of the TOW 2B anti-tank missile. This missile is used agains enemy armor and has a range of 2.8 miles (4.5 km). Compared to earlier TOW versions, the TOW 2B is designed to fly over enemy tanks and armored vehicles and hit them from above, where the armor is thinner. The BGM-71H (TOW 2A bunker buster) is used against buildings and field fortifications and has a range of 2.3 miles (3.75 km).



"I saw first hand how accurate, reliable, and lethal the TOW missile is. No doubt, it's a battlefield game changer. Semper Fidelis to all who made that system and continue to improve upon an outstanding product." --- Chris Nizer, Marine 0352 TOW missile gunner from 1985-1993


TOW missiles are launched from a variety of combat systems in the active Army and Army National Guard, including the Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS), all infantry and cavalry variants of Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS), the Stryker Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), and the M220A2 TOW 2 launcher. The Marine Corps employs the TOW missile from its ITAS launchers, ATGM, and AH-1W/Z attack helicopters. Air-launched TOW will be replaced by the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), which is currently being developed by the Army and Navy in cooperation with Lockheed Martin.

The BGM-71 Weapon System was first used in the Vietnam War and has since been used in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. December 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the TOW program with more than 650,000 missiles produced. TOW is in service with more than 40 international armed forces and integrated on more than 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms worldwide. In May 2016, Raytheon announced it had delivered more than 690,000 TOW missiles. According to Raytheon, the TOW weapon system will be in service with the U.S. Military beyond 2025.

On April 23, 2014, Raytheon announced that Saudi Arabia has signed a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the U.S. Government for 14,000 TOW 2 missiles in a deal valued at approximately $750 million.

On October 29, 2015, Raytheon Company introduced its TOW EagleFire launcher developed and designed to bridge the capabilities of existing launchers and eliminate obsolescence issues. TOW EagleFire is designed to fire both the wire-guided and wireless radio frequency missiles. TOW EagleFire provides increased capabilities over the M220A2 TOW 2 launcher and at a lower cost.



BGM-71 TOW Production Forecast:

A 15-year TOW production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year TOW production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Missile Forecast service.



Mission/Role:

To provide a heavy anti-armor/assault capability to the U.S. Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT), the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) and the Bradley-equipped Armor Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). The TOW missile provides a highly lethal, cost effective, interoperable, multi-purpose weapon.



FY 2017 & FY 2018 - BGM-71 TOW DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Raytheon Co.,
and Chris G. Nizer USMC (Ret.)

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Forecast International Budget Data:

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DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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