Kongsberg’s NSM/JSM Anti-Ship & Strike Missile Attempts to Fix F-35 Stealth
Feb 26/15: Stealth option. The F-35 is a fairly stealthy plane, so long as it is mostly unarmed. About five sixths of its armament capacity must be carried externally, effectively rendering it visible to radars. That has been one of the several good arguments as to why stealth development may have been a low bang-for-buck result. Australia announced that it was going in with Kongsberg to adapt the Joint Strike Missile to fit inside the F-35’s armament bay. We helpfully suggest that the new variant be named the JSM-III Sardine.
Jan 15/15: VL-NSM Update. Kongsberg told Navy Recognition that the firm has been in consultation with Lockheed on a JSM integration, and that the model that has been making the rounds at trade shows in the Kongsberg booth has been geared to drum up interest from potential customers, which essentially means the U.S. Navy. Lockheed’s LRASM would seemingly be a competitive offering. The jockeying comes as the aging Harpoon missile is thought to be going to be replaced with an Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Increment 2 procurement.
Kongsberg’s stealthy new Naval Strike Missile (Nytt SjomalsMissil), which continues its development and testing program, has already shown potential in the crowded market for long-range ship attack and shore defense weapons. NSM’s Joint Strike Missile counterpart may have even more potential, as a longer-range air-launched naval and land strike complement to Kongsberg’s popular Penguin short-range anti-ship missile.
The market for anti-ship missiles is a crowded one, and the distinction between anti-ship and precision land strike weapons is blurring fast. Aside from a bevy of Russian subsonic and supersonic offerings, naval buyers can choose Boeing’s GM-84 Harpoon, China’s YJ-82/C-802 Saccade, MBDA’s Exocet, Otomat, or Marte; IAI of Israel’s Gabriel/ANAM, Saab’s RBS15, and more. Despite an ongoing shift toward supersonic missiles, Kongsberg chose not to go that route. So, how do they expect to be competitive in a crowded market? The F-35 Lightning II may hold the key.
The F-35 is a fairly stealthy plane, so long as it is mostly unarmed. About five sixths of its armament capacity must be carried externally, effectively rendering it visible to radars. That has been one of the several good arguments as to why stealth development may have been a low bang-for-buck result. Australia announced that it was going in with Kongsberg to adapt the Joint Strike Missile to fit inside the F-35’s armament bay. We helpfully suggest that the new variant be named the JSM-III Sardine.
Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile/ Joint Strike Missile
The 3.96m/ 13′, 407 kg/ 900 pound, stealth-enhanced Naval Strike Missile aim to be a generation beyond the USA’s GM-84 Harpoon. A rocket booster and Microturbo TRI-40 turbojet power it to a 185+ km/ 100+ nautical mile operational range, which is at the low end of the standards for its class. Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) guidance flies these missiles toward their target, aided by terrain profile matching (TERPROM). Internal programming is designed to create an unpredictable, maneuvering flight path that makes targeting difficult. During the final attack phase, an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker with automatic target recognizer (ATR) is used to refine final approach targeting, which can reportedly include specific features on a ship. Once NSM locks on, it strikes ships or land targets with a 120 kg/ 265 pound titanium warhead and programmable fuze.
Note the lack of a traditional radar seeker head, which is part of the missile’s signature reduction. IIR makes the NSM completely passive, offering no warning from shipboard ESM systems that detect radar emissions. At the same time, its stealthy shape offers little warning from its target’s active radar sweeps. This is a missile optimized at all levels for stealth, making supersonic speed less necessary.
An in-flight data link makes the missile reprogrammable in flight, if its target disappears or a higher priority threat appears.
In order to speed deployment, Kongsberg and the Norwegian government overlapped the NSM’s development phase and its production phase, referred to as the transition phase. That phase was tied to Norway’s commitments to Navantia, with a view to scheduling the NSM’s phase-in on the 4th vessel of Norway’s new Nansen Class AEGIS frigates. That integration is now complete.
To date, NSM has also been chosen for Norway’s Skjold Class air cushion catamaran FACs, and Poland’s land-based coastal defense batteries will use it to defend the country’s narrow Baltic Sea approaches.
The air-launched “Joint Strike Missile (JSM)” variant is designed to be carried and launched internally from the F-35 Lightning II fighter’s 2 internal bays (1 missile per bay), or carried on external hardpoints by any aircraft type that has integrated the weapon with its systems. This isn’t quite the same missile, though it shares many characteristics. Kongsberg changed the wings, moved the intake to the missile’s sides, and added other modifications as the missile progresses through the development phase. Size shrinks slightly to 3.7m/ 12’2″, and weight drops to 307 kg/ 677 pounds. Because it’s air launched at speed, range expands to over 280 km/ 175 miles/ 150 nautical miles, with greater range enhancements if launched from higher altitudes.
Development has completed Phase 2, including detail design and integration/ fit checks for the F-18, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and F-35A. Phase 3 will complete development and leave Kongsberg ready for production.
The JSM’s tighter profile has also made it the base for 2 future designs: a submarine-launched variant that can fit inside a 533mm torpedo tube capsule, and a vertically-launched variant that adds a booster for use from strike-length naval vertical launch cells like the Mk.41.
Norway is aiming for a 2020 JSM in-service date, but that may have to involve its F-16s, which have lost their Penguin missiles. F-35A Integration will begin with the fighter’s Block 4 software fit, in 2022 – 2024.
That lateness and forced switch might be a blessing in disguise. JSM would be very appealing to many F-16 customers, and Kongsberg is also hedging its bets by testing JSM on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Forced inclusion of other platforms from the outset could create early customer pickup beyond home sales, including existing F-35 prospects like Australia. Later, the prospect of stealth-enhancing internal carriage, plus out of the gate integration with the F-35 Lightning II, give the JSM a strong entry hook for committed F-35 customers like Norway, Australia, The Netherlands, et. al.
Confirmed current export targets include Australia (NSM & JSM), Canada (NSM & JSM), Italy (JSM), and the USA (NSM). A live-fire showcase at the RIMPAC 2014 exercise has the potential to add more Pacific prospects.
Kongsberg’s JSM development partner Lockheed Martin has a similar air-launched land-attack product in its AGM-158 JASSM, which has been developed into the air or sea-launched LRASM. Other competitors exist, from MBDA’s Storm Shadow/Scalp, to Taurus’ KEPD, to Boeing’s anti-ship and land attack SLAM-ER. The JSM’s biggest differentiator would be internal F-35 carriage, which is unique. The other differentiator is its F-35 integration schedule. At present, JSM’s only ranged strike competitor in F-35 Block 4 will be Raytheon’s unpowered AGM-154C-1 JSOW glide bomb.
Contracts and Key Events
JSM Phase 3 contract & costs; Poland will accelerate 2nd coastal battery; Kongsberg tries to crack the US market, partners with Raytheon for OASuW; Live-fire showcase in the Pacific; Test-firing from LCS 4.
Jan 15/15: VL-NSM Update. Kongsberg told Navy Recognition that the firm has been in consultation with Lockheed on MK 41 integration, and that the model that has been making the rounds at trade shows in the Kongsberg booth has been geared to drum up interest from potential customers, which essentially means the U.S. Navy. Lockheed’s LRASM would seemingly be a competitive offering. The jockeying comes as the aging Harpoon missile is thought to be going to be replaced with an Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Increment 2 procurement.
Oct 25/14: VL-NSM. Kongsberg is displaying a vertically-launched variant of its missile at AUSA 2014. The missile design is actually based on the air-launched JSM, whose compact form is easier to fit into vertical launch cells. A large booster motor would help restore comparable range.
Note that is just a model at the moment; call us when they test-fire one. Then again, the logo on the side also says Lockheed Martin. That firm makes the Mk.41 VLS, and is also signed up to help Kongsberg complete development and integration of the base JSM with the F-35. Sources: Navy Recognition, “Kongsberg showcased a Vertical Launch Joint Strike Missile (VL JSM) during AUSA 2014″.
Sept 23/14: USA. A live fire test of the Naval Strike Missile (q.v. July 24/14) done aboard USS Coronado [LCS 4] is successful, via a launcher mounted on the flight deck. The Navy is noncommittal about issuing a requirement that would lead to NSM integration with LCS, beyond deployment as part of any SSC derivatives. Sources: US Navy, “Navy Successfully Tests Norwegian Missile from LCS 4″ | Kongsberg, “Successful test firing of KONGSBERG’S Naval Strike Missile from US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship” | USNI, “Norwegian Missile Test On Littoral Combat Ship Successful.”
July 24/14: USA. The US Navy confirms this week that USS Coronado [LCS-4] is scheduled to test-launch the NSM at their Point Mugu, CA test range. NAVSEA says this isn’t about any specific requirement, it’s just a one-off event to test the ship’s ability to handle more advanced weapons, and “provide insights into the weapon’s stated capabilities of increased range, survivability and lethality.” This test does then take place successfully on September 23, but you have to wonder what firing a missile from a launcher put on the flight deck really demonstrates.
Amazingly, the US Navy is still wondering whether it should confine itself to weapons that work only within the ship’s unaided detection range, despite the fact that 500-ton Fast Attack Craft fielded by other countries carry full-range anti-ship missiles. It’s possible that NSM could fit into the LCS SuW mission module at some future date, with the LCS using UAVs etc. to close the kill chain at range.
On a related note, the NSM is an OASuW candidate (q.v. July 15/14) to eventually replace the sea-skimming, radar-guided RGM-84 Harpoon missiles aboard US Navy ships, and a full range anti-ship and surface attack missile will be critical to the USA’s Small Surface combatant frigate program (q.v. April 7-8/14). Since the Navy’s approach makes it hard for anything other than an adapted LCS to succeed, this test has significant long-term implications for the Independence Class. Sources: Gannett’s Navy Times, “LCS to conduct test of Norwegian missile”.
July 15/14: USA. Raytheon Company and Kongsberg Gruppen form a teaming agreement around the JSM for OASuW’s air-launched component, effectively displacing Raytheon’s JSOW-ER as a contender. The switch gives Raytheon a more advanced offering, while offering Kongsberg technical cooperation and stronger marketing clout. The 2 firms have a history of cooperation, and Kongsberg’s NASAMS remains the centerpiece of Raytheon’s mid-tier air defense offering.
They’ll still compete for OASuW’s ship-launched component, however; Raytheon has no intention of giving up on its RGM-109 Tomahawk. Sources: Kongsberg Gruppen, “Raytheon and Kongsberg team to provide air-launched Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare solutions”.
USA: OASuW partner
July 2/14: Phase 3. The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) signs a NOK 1.1 billion ($178.3 million) Phase III contract with Kongsberg to complete Joint Strike Missile development, and prepare it for integration on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). This brings total Phase III contracts to NOK 1.58 billion (q.v. Nov 29/13). Norway’s MoD adds that Australia is about to get involved:
“Australian authorities have indicated that they want to help integrate the JSM on the F-35… a more detailed agreement will be in place within the next 6-12 months.”
Sources: Norwegian MoD, “Phase 3 In the Development of JSM Underway” | Kongsberg, “KONGSBERG signs NOK 1.1 billion JSM contract with the Norwegian Armed Forces”.
JSM Phase III
May 23/14: Phase 3 & Costs. A bill in Norway’s Storting would finance JSM Phase 3 final development, but the cost has expanded by NOK 1 billion to NOK 3.7 billion (about $622 million). Overall cost increases have pushed the overall project from NOK 6 billion (about $1 billion) to NOK 8.2 billion (about $1.38 billion), and most of this 37% increase will be covered by the government. At the same time, however, Kongsberg will be investing more on their own side. They see a clear opportunity for JSM/NSM, but elements like NSM Vertical Launch System compatibility etc. will take added work if they want to capitalize.
The good news is that a recent independent evaluation confirmed that JSM has the technological maturity required at this stage of development. Phase 3’s problem is the variety of different systems, rules, control regimes and operational requirements involved in a globally exportable missile. Norway hasn’t done that since the smaller and simpler Penguin missile was developed decades ago, and integration is harder now because the missile and platforms are both more complex. So the final phase involves more testing, integration, and documentation than the firm had expected. On the bright side, Kongsberg has sold over 1,000 Penguin missiles since the 1970s, and the current Mk3 remains relevant and on the market. They’re hoping for similar success, despite an early disappointment:
“The goal has been, and remains, to bring in other F-35 partner countries to help cover the cost of integrating the JSM on the F-35. However, in spite of extensive efforts by Norwegian authorities and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, this goal has yet to be achieved. This is partly due to the financial situation in a number of partner countries and partly due to varying status of partner country decision making processes. The partner nations showing most interest in the JSM have been, and continue to be, Australia and Canada, and to some degree, Italy and the United States, all of which have expressed an operational requirement for a future airborne maritime strike capability. As a consequence, until such time as another partner joins the integration process, Norway’s cost of integrating the JSM on F-35 increases by about NOK 1.15 billion (USD 193 million).”
Norway remains committed, partly because of the potential market, and partly because it’s important to them to maintain their aerospace/ missile industrial cluster. JSM Phase 3 development is expected to finish by the end of 2017, in plenty of time for inclusion in F-35A Block 4 during 2022-2024. Or full integration with existing fighters like the Super Hornet etc. (q.v. Nov 6/13). Sources: Norwegian Ministry of Defence, “Joint Strike Missile (JSM) – A Considerably Strengthened Norwegian Threshold Against War and Conflict” | Kongsberg Defence, “The Norwegian Government today presented a bill to the Parliament to further development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM)” | Reuters, “Cost of Kongsberg’s JSM missile rises by 37 pct”.
Phase 3, costs and opportunities
April 11/14: Poland. In light of renewed tensions from Russia, Poland intends to accelerate their purchase of a 2nd coastal defense battery of NSM:
“The third very important part of the modernization program of the Navy was the delivery in June 2013 the Coastal Missile Squadron. Achieving its full combat readiness, after the delivery of the final number of missiles Kongsberg NSM (in 2014 and 2015, it is planned shipment of 12 missiles per year), is to take place by 2015. Deputy minister Mroczek additionally informed that later this year a proceeding of acquiring a second Coastal Missile Squadron is to begin.”
Sources: Dziennik Zbrojny, “Current status of the Polish naval modernization program”.
April 9/14: Exports. Norway is beginning to promote the missile abroad in earnest. HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen will sail to the Pacific Ocean to take part in RIMPAC, where the frigate will launch an NSM at a target ship provided by the US Navy. Nothing like a concrete demonstration for the other countries to look at.
Norwegian Navy Cmdr. Tony Schei confirms that “Kongsberg sees the JSM able to fit in a Mark 41 vertical launch system,” and says that Australia and Canada are being offered this weapon for their future frigates. It would be surprising if they weren’t also targeting Britain’s future Type 26 frigates. Sources: Defense News, “Norway’s Naval Strike Missile Aims for the Pacific”.
April 7-8/14: USA. With the USA considering its options for 20 frigates as a follow-on to the Littoral Combat Ship program, and expressing a preference for modified LCS designs, Kongsberg is presenting scale models of LCS variants with NSMs at the Sea-Air-Space 2014 Exposition. The Freedom Class gets 12 NSMs in 2 recessed modules above the helicopter hangar, while the trimaran Independence Class ends up with 18 NSMs in 2 recessed launchers just behind the bridge, and a 3rd in the hull behind the naval gun.
Those loadouts would make the ships formidable surface combatants. If they control multiple UAVs for surveillance and targeting, their strike role actually starts to look like an aircraft carrier with 1-launch strike aircraft, and this configuration wouldn’t require ship radar upgrades. That could even position Kongsberg for a post-2019 Surface Warfare Module upgrade within the existing fleet, if the Navy decides that it has to upgrade to serious anti-ship capability.
From Kongsberg’s point of view, the challenge is to find footholds within the US military and position themselves as a viable replacement to Boeing’s Harpoon. The F-35 offers them a trump card, but they’ll need a warship platform to really compete. Success with LCS and/or its follow-on frigate would give them a head-start, and make them a strong contender for OASuW if the vertical launch problem can be solved. Sources: Naval Recognition, “Sea-Air-Space 2014 Show Daily News – Kongsberg NSM”.
March 26/14: USA. Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley says that the initial buy of 90 LRASM missiles from FY 2017 – 2019 is a special justification and authorization buy following DARPA development, in order to get the air-launched version onto USAF B-1 bombers (which will already have JASSM integrated) and USN F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters. US budgets actually show 110 missiles from FY 2017 – 2019. He also says that the main OASuW buy of ship and air launched missiles for anti-ship and surface strike missions will be competed.
The most important aspect of that OASuW program involves launch from ships’ Vertical Launch Cells, in order to correct a tactical deficit in USN ships that is becoming strategic. Raytheon could find itself well positioned with an upgraded xGM-109 Tomahawk, or they could widen JSOW-ER’s capabilities. Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile will almost be qualified on the F-35 by that point, but the firm will need to either add shipborne Mk.41 vertical launch system compatibility, or find another angle. Sources: Reuters, “U.S. Navy plans competition for next-generation missile”.
March 20/14: USA. Inside Defense reports that the Pentagon has rejected bids from Kongsberg (NSM/JSM) and Raytheon (JSOW-ER), and has approved Lockheed Martin’s LRASM for a major follow-on development contract to prepare it for production in FY17. Sources: Inside Defense, “DOD Expands LRASM Development, Rebuffs Alternate Bids From Raytheon, Kongsberg”.
2012 – 2013
1st naval launch; 1st live warhead strike; Australia’s plans; JSM scheduled for F-35 Block 4; Go early with F-16 and F/A-18E/F in response?
Nov 29/13: Bridging contract. Norway’s DLO signs a NOK 480 million ($78.4 million) JSM bridging-phase development contract with Kongsberg, in order to keep the workforce moving ahead until the Stortinget (Parliament) approves the final Phase 3 budget for development & testing.
Phase 2 included detail design and integration/ fit checks for the F-18, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and F-35A. Phase 3 will complete development and leave Kongsberg ready for production, including captive carry and live fire tests from successive platforms. Kongsberg adds that “The international F-35 user consortium, with the USA as the largest, is showing great interest in the JSM.” Source: Kongsberg, “KONGSBERG signs contract with the Norwegian Armed Forces for bridging-phase leading to phase three development of JSM”.
Nov 6/13: Super Hornet. Boeing and Kongsberg take the 1st step toward integration with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter family. All they did was ensure that the weapons fit on the aircraft’s external pylons. Next, they have to conduct wind tunnel tests in early 2014. That will assess the effect of the missiles on the plane’s aerodynamics, and likely stress on the pylons. Live captive carry testing will be needed to verify their conclusions, and of course full integration with the aircraft’s electronics will be its own separate effort.
Norway doesn’t fly Super Hornets, but potential JSM partner Australia does (q.v. May 16/13), and so does the US Navy. F-35 integration won’t be ready until 2021-2022, but successful F/A-18 integration would give the JSM an early deployment option with any future Super Hornet customers. It would also provide an incentive for Australia to commit to JSM early and deploy the missiles well before 2025, by offering them a much more immediate fleet upgrade. Finally, Super Hornet integration would provide an opening to put JSM forward as an AGM-84 Harpoon missile replacement for the US Navy, if the higher-end LRASM program falls to coming budget cuts. Sources: Boeing, Nov 6/13 release.
June 4/13: Live Fire. The Norwegian Navy carries out the first live-warhead NSM trial at a range “outside Norway”, firing the missile from the Skjold Class Fast Attack Craft KNM Steil to hit a decommissioned Oslo Class frigate. The missile hits at close range, and does a reasonable amount of damage, as the accompanying photo shows. Looks like they used a pop-up and dive attack profile. See also Flight International.
May 16/13: Australia. During Parliamentary hearings by the Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade, DMO’s New Air Combat Capability program manager, Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley, discusses the JSM and Australia, in response to a question from Sen. Fawcett. With Norway’s government fully finding the missile through F-35 integration in Block 4, Australia doesn’t need to be involved in that financially, and they haven’t made any commitments to JSM yet beyond discussing requirements etc.
Australia’s near-term plan is to use the AGM-154C-1 JSOW glide bomb as their initial maritime strike weapon, first on their F/A-18F Super Hornets and next on their F-35As. They believe that the USAF and US Navy will also make JSOW part of Block 4, which is planned to finish in 2020 and release to the fleet in 2021. Software development remains very behind, but Australia hopes to have JSOW available on their F-35As by the RAAF’s own planned F-35A Full Operational Capability date, in 2023.
Beyond 2023, Australia’s JP3023 program will be looking at a new maritime strike platform for use across its navy surface combatants and air force (F/A-18F, F-35A, P-8A). The NSM/ JSM is expected to be a strong contender, but by then it’s likely to face competitors from America’s OASuW program, as well as current market offerings. Internal carriage in the F-35A would remain the JSM’s trump card, unless a new entrant can duplicate that. Hansard Australia [PDF].
April 26/13: F-35 Integration. The Norwegian government submits a formal Parliamentary request to authorize 6 F-35As for delivery in 2017, and shifts its buying approach. Read “F-35 Lightning II Wins Norway’s (Fake) Competition” for full coverage.
The government also announces that the JSM now has a firm slot for integration: F-35 Block 4. Block 3 is the final version that will emerge from development in 2018 – 2019, which means Block 4 would be ready around 2021 at the earliest. Even that date would make their missile the platform’s first long-range strike option. Norwegian MoD.
JSM integration: F-35 Block 4
Nov 30/12: JSM. Norwegian officials unveil the first completed fuselage for the new Joint Strike Missile, developed by Kongsberg for the F-35. The JSM will undergo a Critical Design Review during the summer of 2013, after which preparations will begin for its final stage of development and full F-35 integration. Norwegian MoD.
Oct 12-15/12: The Norwegian Navy announces that it has conducted successful NSM firing tests from Skjold Class Fast Attack Craft HNoMS Glimt and Fridtjof Nansen Class frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen. The launch from HNoMS Glimt was the NSM’s 1st naval firing. Navy Recognition.
1st naval launch
June 15/12: Norwegian Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide announces that the Norwegian Government has signed its contract for the first 2 F-35A fighters, and put all of the required elements in place for JSM development and F-35 integration.
Norway actually began the Phase II JSM development contract in June 2011 (q.v.), but needed American support to integrate the missile with the fighter. US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently confirmed that support, which allowed Norway to move forward. The JSM program will also feed back into the ship and land-launched NSM, by laying the groundwork for future upgrades.
The F-35 currently has no powered strike missile planned for internal or external carriage by the end of its development phase, in 2018. An early start for Kongsberg could give it a leg up for future orders. Kongsberg Defence Systems President Harald Ånnestad believes the JSM program could be worth as much as NOK 25 billion (currently $4.2 billion), and translate into 450 long-term jobs at Kongsberg alone. Norwegian MoD | Kongsberg.
May 31/12: F-35 studies. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, TX receives a $19.8 million fixed-price-incentive-fee (firm target) modification to the F-35’s Low Rate Initial Production Lot 4 contract, which covers Norway’s Joint Strike Missile (JSM) Risk Reduction Study. Efforts will include physical fit checks, wind tunnel tests, engineering analysis, and designing and building of an emulator and adapter to determine next steps in integrating the JSM into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Work will be performed in Fort Worth, TX (70%); Arnold AFB in Tullahoma, TN (20%); and Kongsberg, Norway (10%), and is expected to be complete in May 2014. US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD manages this contract (N00019-09-C-0010)
JSM Phase II. NSMs for Poland.
Dec 28/11: Poland. Kongsberg finalizes the Dec 7/10 preliminary contract with Poland, whose scope has increased along with its cost (now NOK 712/ $119.5 million). Deliveries of NSM missiles, in conjunction with a command and weapon control system similar to the firm’s NASAMS air defence system, are expected to begin in 2012, and the order will be booked as a Q4 2011 transaction.
Kongsberg adds that will be subcontracting with a large number of Polish enterprises, adding that the coastal defense network’s radar system, communications system and the trucks to carry the launch ramps are all being developed and delivered by Polish industry. Kongsberg Defence.
June 30/11: Kongsberg signs a NOK 543 million (about $100.9 million) contract with the NLDO for Phase II development of the air-launched Joint Strike Missile variant. It builds on the NOK 166 million JSM Phase I contract, signed in 2009. Kongsberg.
JSM Phase II
June 30/11: Kongsberg announces the first ever live-fire of the surface-launched NSM against a land target. It was actually a land-land firing, as the Polish Navy Coastal Squadron fired the missile from a land-based platform, to hit its land-based target over 150 km away.
Naval ships will also use the NSM, beginning with Norway’s own Skjold Class corvettes and Fridtjof Nansen Class AEGIS frigates. Deliveries for these platforms, and the Polish coastal defense batteries, are scheduled for 2011-2014.
June 16/11: Norwegian Parliamentary approval to buy 4 initial F-35A fighters, and begin JSM Phase II to equip those fighters with an internally-stowed anti-ship missile. VNN | F-16.NET | Reuters | Stortinget Prop. S110 [Nynorsk, PDF].
June 6/11: Defense Minister Grete Faremo is called in to an open Parliamentary hearing about the F-35A, but she also discusses the NSM/JSM. Translated from the Norwegian statement issued by the Forsvarsdepartementet:
“JSM: The operational level of ambition for new combat aircraft capability requires long-range anti-surface weapons by sea and land attack capability. The Joint Strike Missile – JSM – is considered to be the only weapon in development that will meet these operational requirements, and can be carried inside the F-35. The fact that the missile can be carried inside the plane is a very central point, namely, it means that the plane keeps its stealth capabilities – which is not the case if the missile is hung outside the wings in the traditional manner.
JSM Development Step 1 is completed, and to continue with the development of JSM in step 2 is crucial to provide operational capability – and it is an important signal to potential customers and it will create a necessary degree of credibility in our ongoing efforts to establish international collaboration for the integration of the missile.
There is considerable interest in the JSM from several other nations. I have taken the initiative include the establishment of a bilateral working group with U.S. to follow up there in particular. A clarification about the participation of other nations, including the United States, is essential in order to include them in the integration phase, which is expected to begin within the next 12-18 months.”
Dec 7/10: NSMs for Poland. Kongsberg Defence Systems announces a NOK 660 (about $110.4 million) million contract with the Polish Ministry of Defence, which includes Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) and support equipment. The contract is not final yet, pending approval of the related industrial offsets contract. Some of Poland’s naval ships currently operate Saab’s RBS-15 naval strike missile, but the NSM missiles appear to be destined for coastal batteries that would cover Poland’s Baltic Sea approaches.
2008 – 2009
NSM production. JSM phase I.
June 29/09: Kongsberg announces that:
“Today, the Kongsberg District Court served KONGSBERG a writ regarding a lawsuit being filed by the Swedish company SAAB in Poland against both the Polish Ministry of Defense and KONGSBERG. The lawsuit refers to the award of a contract which KONGSBERG signed with the Polish Ministry of Defence in December 2008 for the delivery of a coastal artillery system featuring Naval Strike Missiles (NSM). SAAB claims the contract to be declared void.”
April 27/09: Kongsberg Gruppen anounces a NOK 166 million (about $25 million) contract with the Norwegian Defence Procurement Division for the first phase in the development of the Joint Strike Missile. The contract is scheduled to run over the next 18 months.
JSM Phase I
Feb 2/09: Kongsberg announces a successful test firing of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM):
“Fired at the Pt. Mugu artillery range in the US state of California, the missile completed the planned trajectory prior to striking the target ship. During its flight, the missile conducted a large number of advanced manoeuvres that clearly place it far ahead of competing systems.”
May 25/07: Production deal. In the largest order Kongserg has landed to date, the firm signs a NOK 2.746 billion (about $466.4 million) contract with the Norwegian Armed Forces’ Logistics Organisation for serial production of the new Naval Strike Missile (NSM). This includes the transition contract for NOK 200 million (about $34 million).
This contract covers the production of NSMs for Norway’s Nansen Class AEGIS frigates, and Skjold Class catamaran-hovercraft fast attack craft. Production under this contract will run until 2014, and will ensure employment for 200 – 250 individuals in Kongsberg, as well as work for nearly 120 of their 1400 Norwegian subcontractors in Akershus, Buskerud, and Oppland counties. Tom Gerhardsen, president of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, adds in the firm’s release that the contract will also:
“…give us the references we need to sell the missile to other countries’ naval defence forces. Several countries have already indicated an interest in the NSM.”
2004 – 2007
Tests. Joint marketing with LockMart.
Jan 31/07: Lockheed Martin and Kongsberg sign a a joint marketing agreement for an aircraft-version of the new Naval Strike Missile (NSM), to be known as the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and adapted for deployment on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. A study for making adaptations to both the missile and the fighter craft is already in progress, funded jointly by Norway and Australia. It is expected that the adaptations will take 3 years to reach the technological maturity required for deployment on the F-35.
Jan 15/07: Kongsberg announces 2 more successful NSM test firings in California, USA, as part of the Norwegian Navy’s final approval of the development phase. The tests were conducted in the U.S. because the Americans have a test firing range that allows the missile to be tested over land and sea alike, which is essential for testing several of the missile’s functions.
The test firings are part of the Norwegian Navy’s final approval of the NSM development phase. The test was conducted in the U.S. because the Americans have a test firing range that allows the missile to be tested over land and sea alike.
Dec 13/05: Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace attempts to fire an NSM missile at a testing facility in France, but the test is aborted before the missile left the launcher due to a malfunction in the launcher’s systems.
A successful test is required before the project can enter the final part of the development phase, in which the missile system’s performance and functionality will be verified against the contract specifications issued by Norway’s Armed Forces’ Logistics Organisation. Kongsberg’s release says that the missile’s schedule will be unaffected.
April 26/04: In Recommendation No. 54 to the Storting (Norway’s parliament), the Government asks for authorization to sign a contract for the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) transition phase. The contract is valued at approximately NOK 200 million.
Full implementation of the production phase will be initiated only upon formal completion of the development phase and be based on a decision by the Storting at a later date. At this point, development phase is scheduled for completion in late 2005. Kongsberg release.
- Kongsberg Defence – Naval Strike Missile.
- Kongsberg Defence – Joint Strike Missile.
- Naval Recognition – NSM Naval Strike Missile – JSM Joint Strike Missile.
- DID Spotlight – F-35 Lightning II Wins Norway’s (Fake) Competition.
- DID – LRASM Missiles: Reaching for a Long-Range Punch. Based on the air-launched AGM-158B JASSM-ER, this stealthy, sub-sonic air- and sea-launched missile will offer more range than NSM/JSM, and is designed to fit Mk.41 VLS launch cells on ships. It will also be more expensive, and its size won’t allow internal carriage in the F-35.
- DID (Feb 2/07) – Lockheed & Kongsberg Partner to Bring NSM to JSF.