Why there is a duck-like shape in this Tomahawk missile's nose? I see this shape in most Tomahawk images; however, not every Tomahawk's nose is shaped like this. If it is an aerodynamic feature, what is its common name?

the shape can be clearly seen in this image


2 Answers 2


I developed the shape for Convair back in the late 90's. It was called a chined nose and Carlo is right, there were no aero considerations for this shape. It was purely RCS.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome! While this really should be a comment on Carlo's answer, I'm giving you an up vote so you can start earning enough rep to be able to make comments where appropriate. In the meantime, please take the tour and read through the help center so you can get the most out of the site. Hope you stick around - that's the kind of background and knowledge that's absolutely invaluable 'round these parts! $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Sep 30, 2019 at 18:10

It’s a feature on the latest variants of the Tomahawk to reduce its frontal radar cross section. It has no aerodynamic role for the weapon.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello! The last sentence is a bit irrational. A geometric shape definitely has an aerodynamic role, be it a small contribution towards stability/performance or a large one. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2018 at 8:05
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I think what is meant is that any beneficial or detrimental contribution to the missile‘s aerodynamics and flight mechanics was tolerated in order to achieve the radar cross section objective. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2018 at 11:53
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Meaning that shaping is not necessary for aerodynamic reasons and is added for low observability enhancement only. $\endgroup$ May 26, 2018 at 16:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .