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Norway, Germany to pursue joint development of supersonic strike missile

The 3SM Tyrfing missile is expected to utilise solid-fuel ramjet propulsion. (Kongsberg)

Norway has disclosed plans to jointly develop a new long-range, high-speed naval strike weapon with Germany.

Announcing the move on 24 November, Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said the projected SuperSonic Strike Missile (3SM) – given the name Tyrfing (a magic sword in Norse mythology) – was entering preliminary development pending a more substantive investment decision next year. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which has previously developed the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), will lead the 3SM development programme, with the aim to have the new weapon ready for delivery in 2035.

Previously known as the Future Naval Strike Missile (Project 1081), the 3SM programme stems from study work undertaken to define requirements for a common missile development to meet the long-term naval strike needs of both Norway and Germany. “Germany is our most important European partner for co-operation on defence equipment and a majorly important ally in NATO,” said Gram in a statement. “The government is now proposing that a decision will be made to initiate the first initial design phase of the project.”

He added, “Germany plans to consider a decision on commissioning in 2024. The government will return to the Norwegian parliament with a recommendation for the continuation of the project once the design phase has been completed.”

While no technical or performance details of the 3SM have been released, a concept render released by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Kongsberg indicates that the missile will leverage advanced solid-fuel ramjet propulsion demonstrated under the joint Norwegian/US Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) programme. Norwegian rocket motor specialist Nammo is the industry lead for THOR-ER.

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