Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wireless-Guided (TOW) Missiles
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The Close Combat Missile System – Heavy (CCMS-H) TOW (Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wireless-Guided and Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-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 crosshairs 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, 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, LAV-ATGM Vehicle and AH1W Cobra attack helicopter (wired variants only). TOW is also employed by allied nations on a variety of ground and airborne platforms (wired variants only).

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 defeats all threat armor systems. The TOW 2B Aero Gen2 also incorporates an advanced counteractive protection system capability. The TOW 2B flies over the target, detects the target and fires 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 TOW BB has an impact sensor located in the main charge and optimizes warhead effectiveness. The TOW BB can defeat double reinforced concrete walls at range.


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.


Weight: 49.8 pounds (65 pounds encased)
Length: 49 inches
Diameter: 6 inches (8.6 inches encased)
Range: 4,500 meters (TOW 2B Aero)



  • Accepted 1,001 missiles for the United States in accordance with the FY06-FY11 multiyear contract delivery schedule
  • Awarded the Program Year Five funding on the FY12-FY16 TOW multiyear contract

FY17: Awarded the FY21 Multiyear Production Contract

FY18: Awarded Program Year Two of the FY17-FY21 Multiyear Production Contract


FY19-FY23: The TOW Obsolescence and Safety Engineering Change will improve gunner safety, address parts obsolescence and improve production

Foreign Military Sales

The TOW weapon system has been sold to more than 43 allied nations over the life of the system.


  • Raytheon Missile Systems (Tucson, AZ)