Raytheon BGM-71 TOW

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 Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT), 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. From FY 2012 to FY 2016, the U.S. military will only be purchasing the BGM-71F TOW 2B Aero variant and the BGM-71H TOW 2A bunker buster. 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-1 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. 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.



Price/Cost:

In FY 2015, the unit cost of a TOW 2 missile is $58,908.



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 Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT). The TOW missile provides a highly lethal, cost effective, interoperable, multi-purpose weapon.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

FY 2015 dollars in the amount of $70.4 million supports the fourth year of a five-year (FY12-16) multi-year contract and procures 1,008 TOW 2 missiles. The five-year contract procures 6,052 TOW multi-variant missiles.



FY 2016 DoD Program:

FY 2016 dollars in the amount of $87.5 million supports the fifth year of the current five-year (FY12-16) multi-year contract and procures 1,704 TOW 2 missiles.

For more information, click to view the U.S. Army FY 2016 TOW Procurement Budget.




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

Specifications DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: June 15, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Raytheon: BGM-71 TOW
Orbital ATK: TOW-2 Rocket Motor

YouTube: BGM-71 TOW | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Not Available

BGM-71 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on BGM-71 TOW Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of BGM-71 TOW Missiles in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the BGM-71 TOW Missile

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of TOW 2 Missiles (ARMY)
Specifications

Missile Specifications: BGM-71 TOW 2

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Missile Specifications | BGM-71F TOW 2B Aero

Primary Function: Heavy anti-armor/assault missile
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Co.
Propulsion: Orbital ATK Launch Motor (Booster) + Flight motor
Length: 3.97 ft (1.21 m)
Diameter: 5.8 in (14.7 cm)
Wingspan: 18 in (46 cm)
Weight: 50.5 lbs (22.9 kg)
Speed: 440 mph (705 km/h)
Time of Flight: 23 seconds
Range: TOW 2B: 2.33 miles (3.75 km); TOW-2B Aero: 2.80 miles (4.5 km)
Guidance System: Optically-tracked, wire-guided
Warhead: Two Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warheads - forward/aft
Platforms:
Sryker Vehicle
M113
M2/M3 Bradley
HMMWV
AH-1 Attack Helicopter
M220A2 Launcher
Deployed: Production of TOW 2B Aero commenced in 2005

Missile Specifications | BGM-71H Bunker Buster

Primary Function: Missile designed to penetrate buildings and field fortifications
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Co.
Propulsion: Orbital ATK Launch Motor (Booster) + Flight motor
Length: 3.84 ft (1.17 m)
Diameter: 5.8 in (14.7 cm)
Wingspan: 18 in (46 cm)
Weight: Encased: 63.7 lbs (28.9 kg)
Speed: 400 mph (640 km/h)
Time of Flight: 21 seconds
Range: 2.33 miles (3.75 km)
Guidance System: Optically-tracked, wire-guided
Warhead: Fragmenting high explosive bulk warhead
Platforms:
Sryker Vehicle
M113
M2/M3 Bradley
HMMWV
AH-1 Attack Helicopter
M220A2 Launcher
Deployed: Unknown

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