Following the conclusion of missile qualification flight testing (FTM) in March, and a Final Design Review in late June, the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has announced that the development phase of the Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg) Joint Strike Missile (JSM) is now complete.
Designed specifically for use with the F-35 Lightning II multirole stealth fighter in an anti-ship or land attack role, the JSM is an air-launched evolution of Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM). Development, testing and qualification of the JSM is being funded by the RNoAF and the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The JSM programme now moves on to the ‘integration’ phase - integration, carriage and release trials with the RNoAF’ F-35A Lightning II platform – which is expected to continue until 2023. In the interim, Kongsberg announced on 29 June that it has signed a NOK700 million (USD85.6 million) contract with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency for the acquisition of a number of JSM test rounds for use with the F-35 in the integration phase.
While the JSM development is technically independent of Norway’s participation in the F-35 programme, its progress, including an initial operational capability (IOC), is essentially being driven by the F-35 timeline, with the missile integration into the F-35A assigned to the Block 4.1 software release in the 2021 timeframe.
“We anticipate an initial operational capability with [the] JSM on our F-35 from 2023 as we build up to the planned F-35 Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2025. In order to meet this requirement we expect to award Kongsberg a production order in the 2019 timeframe,” a Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Jane’s .
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