| Mission: Defeat
threat armored vehicles and urban enclosed threats at extended ranges
in all expected battlefield conditions.
Background: The TOW (Tube-launched,
command-link guided) Missile System consists of a tripod, traversing
unit, missile guidance set, launch tube, optical sight, battery
assembly and any of five missile variations. The TOW missile system
also includes a thermal sight that provides a capability for operations
at night, in reduced visibility, and in a countermeasure environment.
TOW missiles are all-up rounds encased in a disposable container.
The TOW system is mounted on various platforms including the Bradley
Fighting Vehicle, the improved TOW vehicle, the Humvee and the AH-1F
Cobra helicopter. In addition, it can be operated in a dismounted
ground mode. The TOW is guided to its target merely by the gunner
keeping the cross-hairs on the target. Corrective information is sent
to the missile by two thin wires that deploy in flight.
Since initial fielding, five variations of the missile and two
variations of the TOW subsystem have been fielded. In FY92 the
direct-attack TOW 2A missile was replaced as the standard production
missile by the top-attack TOW 2B missile - both are in use.
The ongoing TOW Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) is a material
change to the current ground TOW 2 system that will increase target
detection, recognition and identification ranges.