Infantry Drills

G-29: Missile System Configurations and Types

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G-29. The TOW CCMS consists of multiple configurations with numerous types of missiles. These configurations mainly consist of minor modified work orders transparent to the operator and are continually updated. All configurations use the same basic airframe, aerodynamic control system, command-link wire, and missile electronics designs. The current missile types are listed below:

  • Improved TOW (ITOW). The ITOW missile has an improved five-inch warhead from the original TOW missile including extended probes for greater standoff and penetration. It can destroy targets at a minimum range of 65 meters and a maximum range of 3750 meters.
  • TOW 2. The TOW 2 missile has a full-caliber six-inch warhead including an extended probe. In addition to the infrared radiator of the ITOW missile, TOW 2 has a second infrared radiator to provide hardened system performance against battlefield obscurants and countermeasures. The second radiator is called the thermal beacon and provides link compatibility with the electro-optical infrared nightsight, which is part of the TOW 2 launcher system.
  • TOW 2A. The TOW 2A adds a small explosive charge in the tip of the extended probe causing enemy reactive armor to detonate prematurely, thus allowing the TOW 2A’s warhead to penetrate the main armor.
  • TOW 2B. The TOW 2B has an entirely different warhead and kill mechanism than the previous TOW missiles. It is a top-attack missile (fly over/shoot down) defeating enemy armor at its most vulnerable point􀀃the top deck of the turret and hull. The TOW 2B has a tandem warhead firing two explosively formed projectiles down through the thin upper deck armor of the enemy vehicle. The gunner tracks the target the same as other TOW missile with the crosshairs on center mass, but the missile automatically flies 2.25 meters above LOS. When the missile senses it’s directly above the target (by means of the target’s shape and magnetic field), it automatically fires its warhead. The TOW 2B missile can destroy targets at a minimum range of 288 meters when fired from the ground mount and 200 meters when fired from the HMMWV or BFV. The TOW 2B has a maximum range of 3750 meters whether ground- or vehicle-mounted.
  • TOW 2B GEN 1. The TOW 2B GEN 1 is similar to the TOW 2B but includes the addition of the GEN 1 Counter Active Protection System (CAPS), which is used to defeat enemy active protection systems.
  • TOW 2B Aero. The TOW 2B Aero is an extended range version of the TOW 2B missile with an aerodynamic nose and has an effective range of 4500 meters. (See figure G-10, page G-16.) This longer range (compared to the 3750 meter range of the previous TOW missiles) allows a TOW crew to fire well beyond the weapons range of its targeted vehicle.
  • TOW 2B Aero With GEN 1, 2, and 3A CAPS. These versions of TOW 2B Aero have the addition of different generations of CAPS to defeat an enemy target’s active protection system, allowing the TOW 2B missile to engage armored vehicles up to 4500 meters. (See figure G-10, page G-16.)
  • TOW BB. The TOW BB replaces the TOW 2A warhead with a fragmenting bulk charge for nonarmor targets. (See figure G-11.) The TOW BB has a range of 3750 meters. Its missile is capable of defeating bunkers, creating a lane through masonry walls, and engaging targets in support of urban operations.
Figure G-10. TOW 2B aero missile with identification
Figure G-11. TOW bunker buster missile and identification

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