A missile that was launched as part of a routine flight test near Eglin Air Force Base has crashed in Choctawhatchee Bay, a bit west of Santa Rosa Beach.
According to a press release from military officials, the flight test was for a U.S. Navy Tactical Tomahawk missile that was “terminated before completing its mission.”
There were no injuries and no property was damaged at the site.
The inert missile, approximately 18-feet long and weighing more than a ton, is used exclusively for flight testing and does not carry explosive or radioactive material. The crash site is in Hogtown Bayou in a sparsely populated area, though the missile flew straight over populated beaches, neighborhoods, and US Hwy-98.
Navy, Air Force and regional authorities quickly responded to the crash scene, where clean-up of the site is underway.
The Navy was conducting a flight test coordinated by the Navy’s Tomahawk Weapon System program at the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Maryland. The Tomahawk successfully launched from a U.S. Navy submarine off the southern tip of Florida. The missile’s flight path was coordinated with the Federal Aviation Agency to avoid residential and commercial areas.
Navy officials are investigating the cause of flight termination.
The Tomahawk Weapon System is the U.S. Navy’s premier, precision strike stand-off weapon for attack of long range, medium range, and tactical targets. The Tomahawk Weapon System provides the capability to attack inland targets in areas where the United States may or may not have sea or air control. Tomahawk missiles are launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines.