MONS talks to Kongsberg and Raytheon about their NSM, future customers and its key advantages over competition
Raytheon’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is in service with the Norwegian and Polish ground forces for coastal defence, it has been selected by the German Navy in February, and the USN is pending an award for over-the-horizon target missile for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), of which Kongsberg’s and Raytheon’s NSM is a candidate.
“We’re hopeful the USN will select us for the LCS as this will open up other opportunities with the USN,” Robert D Jenkins, III, Director Precision Stand-Off Strike Mission Area at Raytheon told MONS. “Currently, Raytheon are producing the launching system for NSM right now and middle of next year final assembly check and integration will occur so very active effort to produce this missile in the US.”
When asked what distinguishes the NSM from other missiles on the market, or currently in development, Mr. Jenkins indicated that this is a developed, in service, ready now missile for naval forces, whereas a lot of companies Raytheon and Kongsberg are in competition with have concepts but they still need to develop them. “The missile is highly survivable, autonomous and smart, that’s one of the reasons it is so much liked by customers,” Mr. Jenkins concluded.
Kyrre Lohne, Vice President Strategic Communications at Kongsberg, added: “We call it a fifth generation missile, we implement new technologies like lightweight composites, perishable materials, we introduced passive sensor technology and stealth whereas our competitors have active sensors. We believe that in the modern world to achieve penetration of the defendant warship you need to be smart and you need to be passive to be undetected as long as possible.”
Raytheon and Kongsberg are not allowed to disclose the countries they are currently in discussion with for the NSM, aside for the US competition, but the interviewees noted that this missile fits on any current ship that fits Harpoon missiles at the moment. It can therefore be assumed that it will be of interest to any navy wishing to replace its Harpoon missiles, amongst others.