Home » Budget Industry » Updated: Norwegian Missile Test On Littoral Combat Ship Successful


Updated: Norwegian Missile Test On Littoral Combat Ship Successful

The Sept. 23, 2014 test of the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile onboard USS Coronado (LCS-4). US Navy Photo

The Sept. 23, 2014 test of the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile onboard USS Coronado (LCS-4). US Navy Photo

This post has been updated from an earlier version to include a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

A Tuesday test of the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Coronado (LCS-4) was deemed a success and could pave the way to expand the anti-surface weapons portfolio of U.S. Navy’s surface ships.

“We view this successful missile test as a possible future warfighting capability for the LCS program,” said Naval Surface Forces commander, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden in a Tuesday statement.

However, the successful test might not mean the NSM could find its way onto the LCS or the SSC and the Navy’s follow-on Small Surface Combatant (SSC) anytime soon, according to Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA).

“There is no linkage between the SSC taskforce and the NSM test. The findings of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force will be used to provide a Navy recommendation to the Secretary of Defense to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant,” read a Wednesday NAVSEA statement to USNI News.

The missile was fired from a launcher positioned on Coronado’s flight deck at a mobile ship target at the ranges off of Port Hueneme.

The sea skimming and subsonic NSM has a range of about 100 nautical miles — greater than the Navy’s current Harpoon missile. The missile is also designed to evade radar.

According to Rowden, the modular design of LCS would make it possible to integrate new weapons onto the platform.

“This allows for the integration of weapons and sensors like the Kongsberg NSM technology as part of the LCS warfare suite,” he said.

The test was facilitated through the foreign competitive testing (FCT) program following a demonstration of the NSM at the Rim of Pacific 2014 exercise.

“Since 1980, the FCT program has helped the United States and allies reap substantial savings by avoiding research and development costs, lowering procurement costs, reducing risk for major acquisition programs and accelerating the fielding of equipment critical to the reading and safety of operating forces,” according to a release from Naval Surface Forces.

No other missiles are being evaluated by as part of the tests, according to NAVSEA.

Currently, the Surface Warfare (SuW) package of the LCS is oriented toward fighting an asymmetric swarm boat threat and full size naval threats.

The lack of firepower onboard both variants of LCS has been a lingering criticism of the program for years and, in part, informed the decision of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to instruct the Navy to take a second look at the LCS program.

The following is NAVSEA’s full Sept. 24, 2014 statement to USNI News:

There is no linkage between the SSC taskforce and the NSM test. The findings of the Small Surface Combatant Task Force will be used to provide a Navy recommendation to the SECDEF to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant.

This is a separate and distinct action from the naval strike missile test which is part of the Navy’s process of continually exploring opportunities for improved capability and reliability across all programs. While there is currently no requirement for the naval strike missile, the Navy is interested in seeing the potential to execute an increased anti-surface warfare role on its ships.

The test is a demonstration of the ship’s potential to execute an increased surface warfare role in both quantity of firepower and in range. Additionally, the test will provide insights into the weapon’s stated capabilities of increased range and lethality.

No other missiles are being evaluated at this time.

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Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • Ctrot

    “Currently, the Surface Warfare (SuW) package of the LCS is oriented toward fighting an asymmetric swarm boat threat and full size naval threats.”

    Really? The LCS is “currently” oriented toward fight “full size naval threats”? Using what, harsh words?

  • Secundius

    FREEDOM class LCS’s:
    LCS-1, Freedom
    LCS-3, Ft. Worth
    LCS-5, Milwaukee
    LCS-7, Detroit
    LCS-9, Little Rock
    LCS-11, Sioux City
    LCS-13, Wichita
    LCS-15, Billings
    LCS-17, Indianapolis
    LCS-19, (Unknown)
    LCS-21, (Unknown)
    LCS-23, (Unknown)

    INDEPENDENCE class LCS’s:
    LCS-2, Independence
    LCS-4, Coronado
    LCS-6, Jackson
    LCS-8, Montgomery
    LCS-10, Gabriell “Gabby” Giffords
    LCS-12, Omaha
    LCS-14, Manchester
    LCS-16, Tulsa
    LCS-18, (Unknown)
    LCS-20, (Unknown)
    LCS-22, (Unknown)
    LCS-24, (Unknown)

    • Ctrot

      Lost a cousin on Indianapolis (CA-35), a shame that her name has to be sullied by association with the LCS.

      • old guy

        Even though the ship is a junker, I am crtain that the crews that serve in her will make you proud.

  • old guy

    What the heck can these “contractor goodies” do against a SWARM attack? I hate to be repetitive, but the money that we are wasting on these overpriced ships would have bought 150 really capable anti-swarm (and any other threat) attack!

  • Jon

    Not exactly certain what this is supposed to have “proved”…

  • Tellenthetruth

    Now lets watch that LCS outrun 6 nuclear tipped missles coming at them from under the waves at 70 plus knots. They can be 500 meters off and sink it, and the carrier thats nearby. You need some realists in Navy design.

  • James B.

    They shot a missile off the flight deck–that is not “integrated” with the LCS, that simply proves there is open space on the back of the ship. Is there a plan to integrate this missile without blocking flight ops?

  • Michael Fredenburg

    So the 3000 ton plus LCS might just get an anti-ship missile. This hardly makes up for what is a fundamentally flawed design. Despite being described by many as a “Little Crappy Ship” it is not that little and its lack of firepower relative to much smaller, cheaper ships is actually kind of amazing. It is undermanned and special provisions must be made for its force protection when it visits foreign ports, severely impacting its utility.

    Shifting O-level maintenance traditionally performed by a ship’s crew to shore-based personnel is an awful idea on many levels and leads to to less capable, less survivable ship. The projected cost savings for doing so will never be realized and if it takes any kind of serious damage the crew will not be capable of saving it as the crew is just too small. (yes, the crew members that performs the routine maintenance at sea are the same crew members that will give you a chance to save the ship) The crew is too small to maintain extended up tempo operations that other ships its size can easily take in stride. That the Navy is still defending this ship as something to bet our future on shows its lack of independence from defense contractors who have far too much influence.