The Close Combat Missile System – Heavy (CCMS-H) TOW (Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wireless-Guided) Missile is a heavy anti-tank/precision assault weapon system consisting of a launcher and a missile. The gunner defines the aim point by maintaining the sight cross hairs on the target. The launcher automatically steers the missile along the line-of-sight toward the aim point via a one-way radio frequency link, which links the launcher and missile.
TOW missiles are employed on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)-mounted Improved Target Acquisition System, HMMWV-mounted M220A4 launcher (TOW 2), Stryker Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Vehicles, and Bradley Fighting Vehicles (A2/A2ODS/A2OIF/A3) within the Infantry, Stryker, and Armor Brigade Combat Teams, respectively. TOW missiles are also employed on the Marine HMMWV-mounted Saber, HMMWV-mounted M220A4 TOW 2, LAV-ATGM Vehicle and AH1W Cobra attack helicopter. TOW is also employed by allied nations on a variety of ground and airborne platforms.
The TOW 2B Aero is the most modern and capable missile in the TOW family, with an extended maximum range to 4,500 meters. The TOW 2B Aero has an advanced counteractive protection system capability and defeats all current and projected threat armor systems. The TOW 2B flies over the target (offset above the gunner’s aim point) and uses a laser profilometer and magnetic sensor to detect and fire two downward-directed, explosively formed penetrator warheads into the target.
The TOW Bunker Buster (BB) is optimized for performance against urban structures, earthen bunkers, field fortifications and light-skinned armor threats. The missile impact is at the aim point. It has a 6.25-pound, 6-inch diameter high-explosive, bulk-charge warhead. The TOW BB has an impact sensor (crush switch) located in the main charge and gives a pyrotechnic detonation delay to enhance warhead effectiveness. The PBXN-109 explosive is housed in a thick casing for maximum performance. The TOW BB can produce a 21- to 24-inch-diameter hole in an 8-inch-thick, double reinforced concrete wall at a range of between 65 and 3,750 meters.
BENEFIT TO THE WARFIGHTER
The TOW Missile provides the warfighter with precise, lethal, direct fires against main battle tanks, field fortifications, heavy weapons teams, snipers and other targets of opportunity while minimizing collateral damage.