Deploying ground-launched Tomahawks is not very revolutionary; what is game-changing is the ability of the SM-6 to defeat incoming hypersonic glide missiles. The SM-6 Block IB has a redesigned body and larger Dual Thrust Rocket Motor, which can help propel the medium-range air defence missile to reach hypersonic speeds.
‘Hypersonic’ merely means faster than Mach 5, but in a modern sense when talking about hypersonic missiles we normally mean a missile which attacks at hypersonic speeds in a glide in the upper atmosphere, and which can manoeuvre as it does so.
Now, whether it was this specific programme or some other development path I don’t know. But 25 years back we were making hafnium carbide for the interior coating of such missile engines. About the only “chemical” that could deal with the temperatures.
The joy was that we were using a lab in Moscow to make it for the US research effort…..