Precision and lethality [ID14D2]

06 November 2014

Norway’s Kongsberg Defence Systems (Hall D, Stand 086) is looking to address emergent regional anti-surface warfare requirements with its Naval Strike Missile (NSM), prominently displayed here in model form.

Entering service with the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) in October 2012, NSM has been developed by Kongsberg to meet needs for a highly discriminative, low-observable surface-to-surface guided weapon able to penetrate shipboard defences and operate e ffectively in both blue water and littoral environments.

The company claims that NSM is the world’s only fifth-generation anti-ship missile.

Capable of ranges up to 200km, NSM combines GPS-aided multi-sensor midcourse guidance with an advanced dual-band imaging infrared seeker. Embedded autonomous target recognition functionality provides for real-time target recognition and classification, target selection, the ability to discriminate target vessels from nearby land or other ships, and programmable target aimpoint selection for maximum effect.

According to Kongsberg, the design philosophy and operational concept underpinning NSM emphasises the penetration of ship defences. This is achieved through a combination of stealth, advanced engagement planning and precision navigation, an ultra-low sea-skimming flight profile, and extreme agility in the terminal phase.

NSM is equipped with an MBDA TDW 120kg armour-piercing blast/fragmentation warhead combining a titanium alloy warhead casing and insensitive high-explosive ll. Warhead initiation is by a void-sensing Programmable Intelligent Multi-Purpose Fuze designed to optimise effect against hard targets.

A live warshot firing conducted in June 2013 from the RNoN strike craft KNM Steil demonstrated both the precision and lethality of the NSM missile. The weapon hit a designated aimpoint on the superstructure of a decommissioned frigate, totally destroying its operations room and the decks above. Another warshot firing was performed during the RIMPAC exercise o ff Hawaii in July this year; in this case an NSM red from the frigate KNM Fridtjof Nansen caused extensive damage to a decommissioned amphibious landing ship.

In September 2014, the US Navy launched an NSM from the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado under the Foreign Comparative Testing programme. For the purposes of the test, a single missile was red from a launch installation on Coronado’s flight deck, flying a pre-planned trajectory to a Mobile Sea Target. On arriving in the target area, the missile acquired the target and struck it at a pre-selected hit point.

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