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Raytheon, Kongsberg Ink Deal to Build Naval Strike Missile in U.S.

A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California in September 2014. US Navy photo.

A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California in September 2014. US Navy photo.

U.S. missile maker Raytheon has finalized a deal to build the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile and its launcher at its facilities in the U.S. for domestic and international sale, company officials told USNI News on Wednesday.

“Raytheon expects to perform final assembly, integration and test of NSM at the company’s Tucson, Arizona facility. Launchers would be manufactured at Raytheon’s factory in Louisville, Kentucky,” read the statement from Raytheon.

In 2015, Raytheon and Kongsberg announced a teaming agreement to compete the NSM for U.S. programs like the over the horizon missile for the Littoral Combat Ship and the Navy’s Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 2.

“NSM production in America is the latest evolution of our decades-long relationship with Kongsberg,” Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president, said in a statement.

The missile has been in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy since 2012 and has a range of 100 nautical miles with a cost of slightly less than the Raytheon Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (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).)

The Navy intends to field the OTH missile on LCS by the end of the year and is evaluating several options.

“I’m looking at a number of missiles – not just the Norwegian missile, I’m also looking at Harpoon and several other missiles. What bolts on, and what can I put on a console that has feeds from the combat system?” the service’s director of surface warfare (N96) Rear Adm. Peter Fanta told USNI News in January.
“I’m trying to do that, again, if I can get enough engineering done to allow me to do this, I’m trying to do that this year.”

The Navy test fired a NSM from Independence-class LCS USS Coronado (LCS-4) in 2014.

  • RobM1981

    Didn’t Konsburg work with Toshiba to sell US submarine propeller design and fabrication to the Soviets?

    • John Locke

      Didn’t Reagan sell arms to Iran?

      • John B. Morgen

        Yes he did….

      • RobM1981

        Yes. How much cash did he pocket in that deal, again?

        I believe Reagan sold arms to Iran to squash communism in Nicaragua and to release prisoners.

        I believe Toshiba/Konsburg sold technology to the communists to make a money.

        No difference whatsoever.

        • Curtis Conway

          Don’t forget selling the technology to make quiet submarine propellers too.

    • USNVO

      No, Kongsberg sold numerical control units which were used to run milling machines produced by other companies that were sold to the Soviets in violation of export controls. Toshiba was the biggest offender with 9-axis milling machines that were used to dramatically improve Soviet submarine screw fabrication but it included machine tool makers from France, West Germany, Italy, and Sweden as well. No design secrets were sold but the milling machines were far better than anything that the Soviets ever produced and that allowed them to fabricate the much quieter screws that they had designed which, thanks to the Walker spy ring, they knew they needed.

  • Tired of Ignorance

    The NSM is an incrediblely capable AShM and will make a fine addition to the USN inventory. I fully expect it to be placed on the LCS/FF, much like the Saudi Freedom Frigate.

    This, with the LRASM, gives the USN its needed punch, and will augment the legacy (but still very capable) harpoons.

    • ElmCityAle

      The published Saudi design had Harpoon and no NSM. Most importantly, it has VLS cells and fire control, making it a real frigate, as opposed to the US Navy’s underwhelming proposal for LCS “upgrades”.

      • Tired of Ignorance

        According to the article on this very site, the LCS proposal brought to the saudis “wasn’t tailored to a specific international customer”, which i took as it was more of a baseline LCS FF model.

        Furthermore, the naval strike missle has already been tested on the LCS. Its a no brainer.

        Do you have any information regarding specifics with the USNs proposal?

        • airider

          Fired from the helo deck isn’t a real test. A real test would have had it integrated into the combat system, the launcher mounted to the hull in an effective location, and actually engage a real target. None of that happened with the LCS “experimental launch”.

          All of the current AShM options currently being looked at are too expensive. Need to leverage some of the size, weight and miniaturization advances of the past 30+ years to shrink the missile, and make it cheaper, so we can take more advantage of our ships limited magazine sizes (especially LCS).

          Look at how cheap the MALD (ADM-160) is. Use that as the basis for a weapon and see what can be done to keep costs down.

          • Curtis Conway

            Combat systems communications and control elements were tested. Launch is less problematic.

  • bee bop

    The Exocet missile used by Argentina during the Falklands war to sink the HMS Sheffield was a mere $235,000, as I remember.

    • Tired of Ignorance

      The HMS Sheffield, a destroyer, is a case study in poor design and even worse damage control. The USS stark, a frigate, took two exocets, sailed back to Bahrain for emergency repairs, under her own power. Then sailed to her home port in Flordia under her own power.

      The exocet also did cost 200,000…..in 1982. Do i really have to account for inflation, or is that alone relevent enough?

      • Dennis Moore

        The Exocet that hit the Sheffield did not explode. Of the two missiles that hit the Stark, the first one also did not explode. There is also the factor that five years had elapsed between the two incidents. After the Sheffield incident many alterations were made to naval vessels and not just in the Royal Navy to improve survivability from cruise missile strikes.

        • Tired of Ignorance

          The USN had practiced great damage control before and after the Sheffield. The RN came to the USN for advice on how, to put it crudely, unfuck itself.

          The excellence was already there, and already institutionalized in the USN. Look at the Samuel B Roberts.

          There is always improvement to be made, for sure, but damage control has always been top tier in the USN.

          • bee bop

            DC top tier in steel USN ships, not always. Following WWI and seeing many of the American warships sunk during that time, much more than what was sunk on the German side, and as I recall, German compartmentalization was about 3 to 1. Following that diagnosis a paradigm evolved in US Naval Architecture.

          • Tired of Ignorance

            Oh, without a doubt it was not ALWAYS like that, i should have said the modern USN, post WWII, has always put DC on the top of its list of important things not to screw up.

          • Curtis Conway

            Have we gone back to that day with our arrogant attitude about thinking we know everything?

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy did not lose that many warships to enemy action during World War I, so did you meant to say [World War II]? One further note: the German Navy had a policy about designing and building warships, and that was, stay afloat, afloat, afloat, this naval policy was implemented by Grand Admiral Tirpitz. Thus, German warships were well armored to take a lot more damage than their foreign counter-parts….

          • Secundius

            Keep in mind that HMS Hood, was a WW1 Battlecruiser with 15-inch Naval Guns. In WW2, SHE was STILL a WW1 Battlecruiser with 15-inch Naval Guns. But the Admiralty of the Royal Navy, seem to have Forgotten That Fact. And SAW the Hood as a Ship of Comparable Size, Armed with 15-inch Naval Guns and sent her out too Compete with a Modern WW2 Battleship with Modern 15-inch Naval Guns. The USS Constitution was a Wooden Hulled Sailing Super Frigate with 54 x 32-Pounders, was Obsolete when compared to USS Monitor Steam Powered and Twin 15-inch Dahlgrens and Iron Armor Plating…

          • John B. Morgen

            Although the HMS Hood was a World War I battlecruiser but she was not completed until the early 1920’s. Mainly because the construction of her was halted after the Battle of Jutland (1916), so design modifications could be made to reflect the lessons that were learned, after the Royal Navy lost three battlecruisers were lost to German gunfire. However, the Hood was planned to received a major reconstruction refit that would have given her a much better fighting chance going up against the KMS Bismarck….

            As for the USS Constitution and the USS Monitor, the latter was light years ahead of the former, but the former was a much better sea-boat.

            In sum, all three warships can still inflect death and damage to any opposition. However, the kill ratios would be much less compare to a Iowa class fast battleship of the post-World War II era, armed with missiles besides with nine 16 inch guns.

          • Secundius

            A Modern Cruiser/Destroyer armed with Railguns. Would BE MORE that a Match, to a WW2 Battleship EVEN if armed with 16-inch Naval Artillery Guns. All the Cruiser/Destroyer would have to do, is Stay Out of the Range of the 16-inch Guns…

          • John B. Morgen

            I don’t expect anytime in the near future that cruisers or destroyers will be armed with railguns, maybe in 2050 or later.

          • Secundius

            BAE’s is expected to be Fielded by 2018. Its just a matter of Which Ship Class First…

          • John B. Morgen

            More or less an Arleigh Burke (Flight IIB) class—an improved but modified version of the Flight IIA variant. A Burke class warship would be the best choice to receive such a weapon system..

          • Secundius

            Present Gas Turbine, are MORE that Adequate to Handle 32MJ Railguns. Still give a Gun Range of 110nmi…

          • John B. Morgen

            I suspect the Burkes will continue to be build, if not be the Navy’s standard warship class.

          • Secundius

            AB’s weren’t considered for 64MJ Railguns, with Massive Overhaul from the “Keel UP” Construction. 20MJ railguns adequate for Freedom/Indy classes. But I Agree, AB will probably be Fleet Standard Combatant. But Hopefully a BMD/Arsenal Ship Forthcoming…

          • John B. Morgen

            I remembered during the 1970’s about the Navy building [arsenal ships], but for everytime the subject came up; the Navy would put it on hold for several more years. So, I would be surprise to see any such warships be built—at all.

          • Secundius

            Or at the Very Least, Convert some of the AB’s to Arsenal Ships…

          • John B. Morgen

            Instead of converting some Burkes, why not use Burke basic hull designs, with different superstructure designs.

          • Secundius

            That’ll work too…

          • Curtis Conway

            What say you about LCS?

        • El_Sid

          The Exocet that hit the Sheffield did not explode.

          That was the conclusion of the original report, in contradiction of the evidence of the crew. Modern analysis has concluded that it did explode – see David Manley’s paper last year (The loss of HMS Sheffield: a Technical Reassessment)

          There is also the factor that five years had elapsed between the two incidents.

          The biggest difference is that the Stark was hit in the calm waters of the Gulf, a few miles from port. The Sheffield stayed afloat for six days in the middle of the South Atlantic – if she’d been hit in the Gulf she could have made it to Bahrain or Oman with no problems.

          ISTR that in car terms, the Stark was an insurance writeoff – it cost more to repair the damage than to build a new ship from scratch, but the USN wanted to make a point.

      • bee bop

        Nothing like a good school lesson.

      • John B. Morgen

        The HMS Sheffield was designed to fight a much different war, a war that involved in shooting down long range Soviet bombers, and sinking Soviet submarines; and not engaging skimmer missiles.

        • Tired of Ignorance

          That does not excuse he Sheffields lack of DC measures, both soft and hard.

          • John B. Morgen

            The only real problem the British destroyer had was [not] designed with a backup power supply, just in case the main power generator went off line.

        • Curtis Conway

          Sea skimming ASCMs can be had by almost anyone today anywhere on the planet. The FFG-7 demonstrated in a practical way (proved) that survivability is really about Damage Control. One NEVER controls everything, and the enemy can get lucky sometimes. That is when capability and professionalism fills the gap.

          • John B. Morgen

            The Exocet missiles were faulty, and the British were just lucky. However, if American made Harpoons were used against the British destroyer, then it would have been a quite a different story. The damage control parties on the Sheffield did the best that they could, and they shouldn’t be held at fault because the destroyer was a poor design.

      • ElmCityAle

        USS Stark had DC and little else: every defensive system failed or was deactivated (supposedly). The 70’s era radar and combat systems were all but useless for missile defense, which is why the navy woke up and poured huge money into updates/upgrades for most of the newer members of the FFG class.

        • Tired of Ignorance

          Absolutely. Personally i belive the USS stark incident lead to the fast track retirement of the OHP class itself. Not enough room for modern upgrades.

          But it certainly was proof postive of good DC design and good DC training and drills. The roberts doubled down on it. The roberts broke its damn keel, yet still maintained war footing and got itself out of the minefield on its own.

          That is beyond impressive.

          • El_Sid

            The retirement of the class wasn’t really about the Stark – the tight compartmentalisation of the design meant that it was always going to be difficult to upgrade. The Aussies went ahead anyway and had a real nightmare.

            There was also the minor detail that the main mission of OHP – protecting REFORGER convoys – had disappeared.

    • John B. Morgen

      The Exocet didn’t sink the Sheffield outright, it just caused many fires, and the destroyer’s building material started to degrade due to the heat.

      • Tired of Ignorance

        The Sheffield didnt sink because of the fires, didnt sink because of the missles.

        What sunk the Sheffield was poor ship design and poor DC measures from the crew, plain and simple.

        It was a badly needed wakeup call for the RN, and they are better off for it.

        • John B. Morgen

          No! The loss of Sheffield was the result from loosing electrical power to the pumps , which the damage control parties couldn’t contained the spread of fires. Furthermore, rough seas flooded the ship while she was under tow. Yes the ship was a poor design, but the crew did their best, and it could have happen to an American ship…

      • Curtis Conway

        AND what were those construction materials and cable ways made with?

        • John B. Morgen

          The Falklands War was a real wake up call for all navies because several navies; including the Royal Navy and the United States were using aluminum alloys, as part of Sheffield’s construction to save weight and construction costs. The ship’s cables were made from polyester materials, which didn’t helped things for the damage control parties, and nor the fact the Exocet had penetrated inside the engine room, and ruptured a fuel line; plus, the fuel from the Exocet did not helped things. The ship could have been save if was not for the main generator loosing power; thus, causing the pumps to failed.

          Sorry for belated response, I had to dig up some my notes.

    • Secundius

      The only reason that HMS Sheffield got hit by the Exocet, was THEY (Royal Navy and Argentine Air Force) had the SAME Fire Control System. The Sheffield’s FCS scanned the Exocet Missile as “Friendly” No Threat and Deactivated the Countermeasure Defense Systems on the Ship. Something worth remembering, Even your Own Weapon System can Be Used Against You…

  • John B. Morgen

    Our warships should be built with steel, so-called destroyers, cruisers should be armed with, at least 4 or more CIWS and should be given armored protection.

    • Tired of Ignorance

      All the armor in the world wont save you from a 3 ton missle going mach 3, nor is gun based CIWS’s anything but legacy cold war era tech.

      No, instead of investing in armor, the USN wisely invested DC, and missle based interception systems.

      Essm and searam is good stuff.

      • bee bop

        Damage Control preparedness is ongoing. Many years back I was in Rosey Roads, PR. I was TAD. We had gas training planned on shore. Borrowed a MK5 gas mask for the event. Upon dunning the mask as the tear gas released one of the cheek straps separated leaving the side of my mask open. The disability was instant. I would never have believed how much mucus, slobber, and tears can pour from your face under those circumstances. It ain’t just about P250’s, and dogged hatches. I miss my youth. Go Navy!

      • Curtis Conway

        To increase ones chances you have to have a non-rotating (multiple array face) 3D AESA radar that functions well in a very active ECM environment, and has multiple engagement layers. In the not to distant future that will be a Directed Energy Weapon.

      • John B. Morgen

        You’d must be referring to the Soviets’ AS-4 (Kitchen), AS-6 (Kingfish) air to surface missiles. Of course, during the Cold War the F-14 aircraft provided the Fleet protection from hundreds of miles away from the carriers by being armed with the Phoenix missiles (AIM-54). However, guided missile cruisers, destroyer DDGs and even the super aircraft carriers could shoot down such Soviet air to surface missiles by surface to air missiles once they have been detected by radar and tracked, I disagreed about armor because armor is a passive defense; especially, for the larger warships which will have a greater buoyancy than destroyer size warships.

  • Kruno

    I think it would be a great mistake to consider NSM for OASuW increment 2. Since LRASM will cover Increment 1 I really don’t see a point of going 2 steps behind with NSM for a future anti ship missile. LRASM has at least 200 miles range, it’s stealthy and it will have a revolutionary autonomous targeting system never before seen on a missile. And Navy would consider much more inferior 100 mile range Naval strike missile that doesn’t have anything that a Navy would need in a 2025-2030 timeframe? I don’t think so. Increment 2 for anti surface missile should be LRASM with new motor which would make it at least supersonic if not hypersonic. A subsonic semi active NSM is a great missile for LSC but definetely not something you would want in a fight against YJ-18 or Brahmos. It saddens me that Raytheon even considers entering NSM for increment 2 competition, they can do a lot better.