Raytheon is set to partner with Norwegian company Kongsberg Gruppen to bid for the US Navy's Over-The-Horizon weapon system (OTH-WS) programme.

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) released a request for proposals (RFP) in February for the navy’s OTH-WS requirement to equip its littoral combat ships (LCSs) and future frigates with a responsive stand-off surface-to-surface capability.

The companies are offering the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), which is the only fifth-generation long-range, precision strike missile currently in existence and has been designed to offer superior strike capability against heavily defended land and sea targets.

Kongsberg executive vice-president Pål Bratlie said: “NSM is the main weapon for Norway's new frigates and coastal corvettes, and gives today's ships the firepower they need to defeat evolving threats.

“The missile will help fulfil the US Navy's vision of ensuring freedom of access to seas around the world.”

"NSM is the main weapon for Norway’s new frigates and coastal corvettes, and gives today’s ships the firepower they need to defeat evolving threats."

The completely passive missile system has proven sea-skimming abilities, as well as the capability to penetrate the advanced enemy defence systems. It also features upgraded seeker and target identification technology.

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Raytheon and Kongsberg entered into a teaming agreement for the NSM in April 2015, which enabled the two companies to offer offensive anti-surface warfare (OASuW) solutions to several governments interested in the warfare mission.

Raytheon will manufacture NSM launchers, missiles and components in the US as part of the arrangement, beginning with work in Louisville, Kentucky and Tucson, Arizona.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing were previously two of the three primary contenders for the project, however both companies decided to withdraw from the OTH-WS competition in May.

Image: Naval Strike Missile. Photo: courtesy of Pibwl.