The US Navy has put in a $303 million order for 214 Tomahawk cruise missiles and spares, a major contract that is likely to draw more fire over the force’s extravagant policies over the past years.
The contract for the long-range nuclear-capable Tomahawk Block IV missiles was granted to Rytheon, a major Pentagon contractor, the UPI reported Thursday.
While the missiles will be chiefly used by the Navy, some of them would be sent to the UK as a foreign military sale.
The project is expected to finish by August 2018, according to the Pentagon, and the production work will be carried out in a variety of factories in Arizona, Michigan, Arkansas and other states.
Block IV is Tomahawk’s latest iteration and packs a two-way satellite data-link, which allows operators to reprogram the missile and change its target midflight.
Raytheon is also working with the Navy to enhance the missile’s capabilities by fitting in more powerful warheads, a targeting system for moving objects and better communication systems.
The order came at a time when the Navy was under heavy criticism for the failure of USS Zumwalt, one the most expensive American warships.
The $4.4 billion guided missile destroyer broke down while it was crossing the Panama Canal in late November.
Debuted in May, the futuristic-looking ship introduced a new class of warships that the Pentagon boasted were going to be the most advanced vessels ever built.
According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), the program is expected to cost more than $22 billion.
The force has also faced backlash over its other extravagant projects such as the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, which is projected to cost around $13 billion.
This is while, according to Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall, the new technologies fitted into the aircraft carrier are likely to fail to perform as promised.
The Tomahawk deal with the UK cements Washington’s standing as the top weapons merchant in the world. The US raked in around $40 billion from arms sales in 2015, Press TV reported.