Home » Aviation » Raytheon and Kongsberg Team to Pitch Stealthy Norwegian Strike Missile for LCS

Raytheon and Kongsberg Team to Pitch Stealthy Norwegian Strike Missile for LCS

An undated photo of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile in flight. Kongsberg Photo

An undated photo of a Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile in flight. Kongsberg Photo

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The Norwegian manufacturer of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) has teamed with U.S. missile manufacturer Raytheon to pitch the anti-ship missile (ASM) to the Navy as the over-the-horizon (OTH) ASM for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), company officials told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

The agreement comes as the Navy surface warfare directorate is working through the requirements for a longer range anti-ship missile to include onboard the LCS and the modified LCS frigate design with a request for proposal (RfP) for the capability expected in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.

The NSM — or a derivative — could also compete for the Navy’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 2 multi-platform competition as a follow on to the Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). LRASM is in a sole source negotiation with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for OASuW Increment 1.

A version of the NSM, the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), is being developed for the Norwegian version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) by both companies.

The NSM — already a staple onboard Royal Norwegian Navy ships — is billed as a stealthy, subsonic missile to replace aging anti-ship missiles like the Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon Block II and the French-designed MBDA Exocet.

“There are several foreign nations that have developed counters to the Harpoon and Exocet missiles — from a range perspective — this particular missile fills that gap and allows [navies] to outrange the folks with the foreign systems that are being directed at our vessels,” Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, told reporters.

According to press reports, the NSM has an effective range of about 100 nautical miles.

As to price, Lawrence said it cost a little more than the company’s Block IV Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM). The Navy quotes the price per round of the TLAMs at $569,000 per round in FY 1999 dollars (about $802,000 in 2015, adjusted for inflation).

“Our missile is competing very well, compared to other missiles when it comes to price per missile,” Harald Ånnestad, Kongsberg Defense Systems president told reporters
“The price will vary a lot if you buy ten or if you buy 400 missiles.”

For the LCS mission, the companies are proposing to place the proprietary canister launchers on the deck of the ship and claim the missiles could easily tie into the combat systems of both classes.

An artist's concept of Naval Strike Missile launchers mounted on both variants of the US Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Kongsberg Image

An artist’s concept of Naval Strike Missile launchers mounted on both variants of the US Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Kongsberg Image

“We’re looking at these canisters to be placed on the deck or an appropriate horizontal surface on the ship and integrated in their missions control, mission planning suites,” Lawrence said.
“We wouldn’t have to have the vessels radically modified to include vertical cells for that matter. These would be placed on the deck.”

An artist’s conception of the placement would put the canisters forward of the deck house and aft of the main gun on both the Independence and Freedom classes of LCS.

  • Curtis Conway

    The NSM should be part of the Navy’s “If it floats it’s a shooter” program. Amphibs and support ships could have some of these. Once tied into the network, any CIC can conduct the engagement coordinated with the Battle Force Anti-Surface Warfare Commander.

  • Frankie G

    If the Navy had simply given the LCS an 8 cell VLS, then it could adopt a fleet wide new ASCM and give it to the LCS like everything else. Instead now it has to go back to dedicated single missile option launchers like it’s still the 1970s…

    • Curtis Conway

      Frankie, you hit the nail on the head. A systemic approach always pays off in the long run. Your analysis is right on target. Perhaps the CoC will figure out how to save money long term one day . . . but not today.

    • Rob C.

      The hull not deep enough to accept large missiles. Don’t think they would thought that unless there was problem? Go look up VLS especially the Mark 41s, they show you there certain types of missiles that require deeper launchers. The LCS don’t have the room in their forward module for a NSM. That’s why their going mount them in Harpoon style launchers.

    • Secundius

      @ Frankie G.

      The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) can be deployed by virtually any Launch System in US. Naval Inventory…

  • 2IDSGT

    Wow… that doesn’t look like a bodge-on at all.

    Ok, so looks don’t matter, but damn… can they fairing that in a little?

    • Ctrot

      If it gives some long range punch to a platform that is sorely lacking in that area I couldn’t care less how it looks.

  • CharleyA

    There goes the “stealth.” Overall though, a good idea.

  • Eagle115

    On the right-hand artist’s conception the missile launchers are slanted to fire across the ship instead of pointing off board as in the left drawing. Why would the missile cross the ship when fired? It would seem safer to immediately leave the superstructure of the ship vs traversing across it.

    • USNVO

      Well, it is an artist concept, so you don’t really know if it is accurate, but I would guess it is to have the rocket blast miss the deck on launch.

      • Greg Lof

        I been thinking about mounting a retractable box launcher like the old armor box launcher over the forward missile space (HPU in that area). Add some radar reflector and a few exhaust deflectors to the main unit and you can install it practically over night.

        • Secundius

          @ Greg Lof.

          The Quad Retractable Box Launchers used on the Battleships were Mk. 143 (now. Mk. 43) Launchers. Are 23-feet 02-inches long by 7-feet wide by 6-feet 08-inches high and weigh’d ~57,320-pounds, empty…

          • Greg Lof

            Of course, the ABL aka Armored Box Launcher, was heavy mostly because it was armored, which my proposal was not, nor does it have to be larger enough to carry a Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Therefore the launcher could be much lighter and smaller with a AL shield to scatter any radar that might hit it.

    • Secundius

      @ Eagle115.

      It’s one thing to put them into Conformal Launcher that blend in with the Ship’s Superstructure and keep the ship Stealthy. It’s quite another to put Radar Reflecting Mk. 141 Quad-Canister Launchers, that any Low Grade Marine Radar System can pick-up from any Standard Pleasure Craft…

    • James B.

      Those layouts match common use in other corvette-size ships. Mostly it’s exhaust management.

    • It’s the Same layout on the ANZAC Frigates with their Harpoons as well.

  • Secundius

    Nytt Sjomalmissil (Sea Target Missile), can also be Coastal Launched. ~115sm. range for NSM and ~180sm. range for the JSM (ASM). ~880-pounds, 13-feet in length and 246-pound High-Explosive Fragmentation Warhead. Suppose to launched form the Mk. 41 VLS. Putting exposed Mk. 141 Angled Quad-Canister Launchers on a “Stealth” Ship, no longer make it “Stealthy”

    • Rob C.

      If don’t fit, what you going to do? Most of these ship’s modules are under the hanger deck, except for the small one behind the 57mm mount. They can’t afford completely new ship, so there smacking them where they can. Stealth is only as good get ship in range fire your weapons.

      • Secundius

        @ Rob C.

        Actually that would be a great place to put a VLS. Just under the Helicopter Land Pad, 288-VLS Missile out of sight from prying eyes. Just retract the Landing Pad into a Sub-Floor Space in the Superstructure before Firing…

        • Greg Lof

          Have you looked up the weight of a Mk41 strike length 8 pack? Or then weight of the support systems and protection? Remember you only have 180 tons to work with on a LCS.

          • Secundius

            @ Greg Lof.

            The same Mk. 141 Lightweight ~13,007-pound empty Quad-Canister Launchers, can work in the Vertical Position as they can in the 35-deg. Diagonal Position. If you can Vertically Launch for a Flat-Bed Truck, you can do the same on a Ship…

          • James B.

            Filled, ballpark a strike 8-pack at 50000lbs, which could still add seven of them in the 180 tons available. If the LCS gave up some things, more could be added.

            Given that the LCS is mostly useless as is, configuring them as missile boats would probably be one of the best uses of their speed.

          • Secundius

            @ Greg Lof.

            The Physical Dimensions of the Mk, 41 (8-cell) VLS, is. 25’04” Deep by 10’04.8″ Long by 6’09.75″ Wide.

            The Mk. 41 (64-cell) VLS, is. 25’04” Deep by 20’09” Long by 28’07” Wide…Sec

  • So basically they are trying to shoehorn the LCS into a Corvette that your commonly see in Asia, Middle east and Europe. They should have at least the Galls to call it a Corvette than a Frigate. Though I think putting the NSM is what’s needed for long range punch for these Corvettes.

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      The New Navy acronym for Corvette is “FS”, or if your Drunk Enough “Frigate, Small”…

      • Basically and FS is just an oversized Corvette

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  • Secundius

    All shipboard Missile Launchers have one thing in common, there internal dimensions are 23’feet 7-inches long and 2-feet 4-inches in diameter and can accommodate a missile weighing ~9,020-pounds. The following missiles fit into those parameters.

    1. BGM-109, Tomahawk
    2. RGM-84, Harpoon
    3. RGM-181A, ArcLight (Nuclear)*
    4. RGM-181C, ArcLight (Conventional)*
    5. RIM-67, SM-2
    6. RIM-161, SM-3
    7. RIM-162, ESSM
    8. RIM-174, SM-6 (SM-5 got cancelled)
    9. RUM-139, VLS-Asroc
    10. Nytt Sjomalmissil NSM

    (*) Future Tomahawk replacements…

  • Marjus Plaku

    That video of the Fort Worth LCS in the South China Sea with moderate waves shows that the bow placement of these NSM canisters on the bow, forward of the bridge, would at best compromise or destroy them, at worst make launch impossible in heavy seas.

  • Dovregubben

    All antiaircraft batteries from Russia will be in the library of the NSM / JSM. S300, S400, BUK and all the rest will be defeated with this missile.

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