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The State

December 14, 1987

An unarmed Navy Tomahawk cruise missile used a sophisticated guidance system during a test flight from a ship off the California coast to a desert weapons range. The low-flying cruise missile used its on-board inertial navigation system until it reached land, then began receiving updates from a terrain contour matching system, which aids the missile's guidance system, Pacific Missile Test Range spokesman Ray Lucasey said. Cruise missiles are subsonic and use ground-hugging guidance systems to avoid radar. The missile's flight ended after 700 nautical miles with its recovery at China Lake Naval Weapons Station in the Mojave Desert.

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