WASHINGTON — Raytheon and Kongsberg are teaming to produce a fifth-generation naval strike missile (NSM), the two companies announced Thursday.
The American and Norwegian firms unveiled a similar partnership last year with the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), an anti-ship weapon launched from the air. The companies are hoping to integrate the JSM into F-35 joint strike fighters.
Raytheon and Kongsberg will collaborate on the NSM, with an eye toward marketing it to the US Navy’s next generation of littoral combat ships (LCS). Because the Norwegian government has already borne the costs for developing the NSM — the missile is already in use on Norwegian frigates and corvettes, as well as Polish land defense systems — the companies hope it will present an affordable option in today’s cost-conscious budget environment.
“It’s a very good fit, and a very affordable weapon for the US Navy,” said Thomas Bussing, Raytheon’s vice president of advanced missile systems.
The midrange missile can strike targets on land and sea more than 200 kilometers away, said Harald Ånnestad, president of Kongsberg Defence Systems. Because the NSM uses an engine normally installed in missiles that weigh twice as much, it has enough maneuverability to avoid defensive measures, he said.