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Land Forces 2022: Kongsberg, Thales launch StrikeMaster

The StrikeMaster marries two NSMs and their launch missile modules with an armoured single-cab version of the Bushmaster military vehicle. (Julian Kerr)

A new land-based maritime strike capability centred on Norway's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) was launched by Kongsberg Australia and Thales Australia at the Land Forces 2022 exhibition in Brisbane on 4 October.

The new StrikeMaster system involves two NSMs and their launch missile modules mounted on an armoured single-cab utility version of Thales Australia's Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle. The NSM has a range of more than 250 km.

According to Thales, the marriage of the NSMs and the Bushmaster would provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with a potent, disruptive, and proven land-based maritime deterrent.

The Australian Army is reportedly considering a fleet of StrikeMaster systems to meet its need for a deployable land-based anti-ship system.

Project Land 4100 Phase 2 is listed in the country's 2020 Force Structure Plan with an anticipated cost of up to AUD500 million (USD323.4 million) and an indicative delivery date of 2024.

StrikeMaster draws on a concept proposed by Kongsberg and Thales in their response to a Department of Defence (DoD) request for information in 2021.

Although a tender has yet to be released, Kongsberg Australia's general manager John Fry said the capability could be made available within three years, including missile supply.

The capability would be supported by a sophisticated command and fire-control system with an architecture similar to that developed by the Australian Army's joint integrated air and missile defence system.

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