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According to an agreement signed by the Norwegian Government and the British Royal Navy on 22nd November, the navy will be equipped with a long-range precision strike missile.

According to the news in Defense News, 11 frigates and destroyers will be equipped with Naval Strike Missile (NSM) produced by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

In the statement made by the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom, it was stated that the first three warships have started modernization studies to accept the weapon and the first ship will be ready for operation in a little more than a year. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the deal during a visit to Norway this week by the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The surface-to-surface assault weapon enters service to meet the next year’s decommissioning of the Harpoon missile, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas before being purchased by Boeing. The Harpoon was scheduled to be out of service in 2018, but that date has been delayed to 2023.

In November last year, the British cancelled plans to introduce a temporary capability that would deprive the Navy surface fleet of an attack missile for at least five years. That plan was formally abandoned with the surface-to-surface guided weapons program revived earlier this year.

Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said: “This is an important task with an ambitious timetable. Both countries have set up a dedicated team with a strong mandate to ensure the success of this joint effort.” 

The Norwegian weapon, purchased by many countries, including the United States, bridges the gap between the Harpoon’s decommissioning and the entry into service of a future surface attack weapon.

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