TASM is an acronym
(when pronounced 'tazzem') for the U.S. BGM-109B Tomahawk
Anti-Ship Missile. This weapon is a sea-launched cruise missile, capable of being fired from surface ships or submarines, and was deployed as part of the original Tomahawk acquisition. It is armed with a 450-kg conventional explosive warhead
. It does not have the range of the TLAM (land-attack) variants, mostly due to its containing heavier targeting systems - a passive and active radar seeker, intended to locate its ship targets. The TASM was a step up from the much shorter-ranged AGM-84 Harpoon
missile system; however, its utility was (and is) debatable. At the ranges it was capable of flying, the likelihood of accurate targeting is lower. Even before it begins to operate its radar seekers, it must be close enough to its target to locate it - and in the nearly half-hour flight time of maximum range, the target may have moved quite a bit. As a result, the TASM is programmed to fly a 'serpentine' search pattern
as it approaches the target, in order to widen its search area - but even so, the chances of either missing entirely or attacking a different target are higher than when utilizing the Harpoon.
Current Tomahawk inventories are focused on the land attack mission. Later series of the missile (Block III, Block IV) contained no TASM rounds. No TASM has ever been fired in anger, to the best of my knowledge. After 1991, many TASM were rebuilt into TLAM configurations to replace stock used in the Gulf War.
TASM Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile
Range: 300-400 nm
Warhead: 450-kg unitary conventional explosive
Guidance: Strapdown inertial guidance through cruise phase; active and passive radar seeker for terminal
First Deployed: 1983-1985 (sub-launched and ship-launched).
One of Jane's Fighting Nodes!