Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Tomahawk missiles will receive upgrades under a $7.2 million contract with Raytheon, the Defense Department announced.
The deal, announced Thursday, is a cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement, and will provide an updated technical data package of the guidance test set and upgrade of existing units, including hardware and software.
Earlier this year, the Navy placed orders for 90 Tomahawks in 2020 and another 90 in 2021, confirming that the new Block V designation for the next variant of Raytheon's Tomahawk cruise missile will go into production.
The issue of improvements to the missiles, first put in service in 1983, comes as Navy ships and submarines find themselves in more combat situations and less as ground support for wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Since the 1980s, U.S. and British navies have purchased 10,000 Tomahawk missiles and used over 2,300 in combat.
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile primarily used in ship- and submarine-based land-attack operations.
The contract announced on Thursday calls for work performed primarily at Raytheon's Tucson, Ariz., and Logan, Utah, facilities, with a completion date of July 2021.