US Navy has selected The Norwegian-designed Naval Strike Missile for the fleet’s littoral combat ships (LCSs) and the future guided-missile frigates.
The 'Naval Strike Missile' (NSM) was submitted for consideration to the US Navy by Norwegian defence firm Kongsberg Defence Systems jointly with US defence contractor Raytheon, beating out offerings from Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The $14.8 million contract awarded to Raytheon will purchase the first round of missiles that will be incorporated on to the Freedom and Independence variants of the Littoral Combat Ships as part of Fiscal Year 2018 funds for OTH weapon research and development. The value could grow to $847.6 million if all contract options are exercised.
The award calls for the delivery of the Kongsberg designed, “encanistered missiles loaded into launching mechanisms; and a single fire control suite.” The contract did not specify how many missiles were paid for in the contract.
The subsonic NSM is a stealth missile specializing in attacking near-shore targets using inertial, GPS, terrain-reference navigation and infrared homing technology, and is currently operated by Norwegian and Polish naval units and coast guard detachments. The missile has an operation range of 185 km and in service since 2012.
The companies announced they would pair together to compete for new U.S. anti-ship missile contracts in 2015. In 2016 Raytheon and Kongsberg agreed to assemble and test the Norwegian missile’s components in Raytheon’s Tucson, Ariz. facility and the launchers at Raytheon’s plant in Louisville, Ky.