The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is a fifth-generation high-subsonic, anti-ship / land attack cruise missile developed by Kongsberg Defence Systems.
The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is used against sea and land-based targets in littoral and open sea environments. Credit: Pibwl.
A rear-side view of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) on display at a defence exhibition.
The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is installed on Nansen Class frigates and Skjold Class missile fast patrol boats of the Royal Norwegian Navy. Credit: George Hutchinson.

The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is an anti-ship / land attack cruise missile developed by Norway-based Kongsberg Defence Systems. NSM is a successor to the Penguin anti-ship missile and is the only fifth-generation long-range precision strike missile in the world.

NSM is currently under series production for the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) and the Polish Navy. Nato and other countries have also expressed their interest in the missile.

Orders and deliveries for the anti-ship / land attack cruise missile

In June 2007 Kongsberg signed an Nkr2.7bn ($474m) contract with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) for serial production of the NSM. The agreement also included the Nkr200m ($34.5m) transition contract.

NSM was deployed on Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen Class frigates and Skjold Class missile fast patrol boats. In December 2010, the Polish Ministry of Defence placed an Nkr660m ($114m) contract with Kongsberg for the NSM and logistics equipment. It is an extension to the base contract signed for the NSM in December 2008.

The request for additional NSMs, bringing the total contract value to Nkr712m ($123m), was approved in December 2011.
In August 2016, Raytheon was awarded a contract by Kongsberg to manufacture NSM launchers in its production facility at Louisville, Kentucky, US.

Development and testing of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM)

The Naval Strike Missile was developed to meet the requirements of the Royal Norwegian Navy to arm its new frigates and coastal corvettes. NSM was also selected by the Polish Navy for use on its coastal defence installations.

Kongsberg and NDLO signed the NSM development contract in 1996. The first development test of NSM was successfully completed in June 2004. In July 2006 Kongsberg conducted a test firing, which enabled the RNoN’s final approval of the development phase.

In January 2007, Kongsberg and Lockheed Martin signed a joint marketing agreement for the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), an aircraft-version of the NSM. The JSM will be incorporated in Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Serial production of the NSM began in June 2007. A test conducted in April 2008 was unsuccessful due to malfunction of booster. The first series produced NSM was successfully test-fired against a sea target by RNoN and Kongsberg at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s Point Mugu range in June 2011. The first ever test against a land target was conducted in the same month.

Naval Strike Missile design and capabilities

The stealth design of the NSM allows the anti-ship missile to penetrate into shipboard defences. The NSM is effectively used in littoral and open sea environments. The airframe design and the high thrust-to-weight ratio enhance the manoeuvrability of the missile.

The missile has a length of 3.96m. It can carry a 125kg HE fragmentation warhead for a maximum range of more than 185km. The launch weight of the missile is 407kg. The NSM-based Coastal Defence System (CDS) includes a fire distribution centre (FDC), sea surveillance and tracking radar and an NSM launcher fire unit.

The NSM can be fired from a range of platforms against a variety of targets. The passive homing missile travels in sea-skimming mode and can make advanced terminal manoeuvres in the terminal phase, to survive enemy air defences.

The missile, using GPS-aided mid-course guidance with a dual-band imaging infrared (IIR) seeker, detects and discriminates the targets. Autonomous target recognition (ATR) of the seeker ensures accurate detection and striking of sea or land-based targets. A programmable fuse is used to detonate the missile’s warhead.

Propulsion of Kongsberg Defence Systems’ NSM

The NSM is launched into the air by a solid rocket booster which is jettisoned upon ignition. The Microturbo TRI-40 turbojet engine propels the missile towards its target with high-subsonic speed.

The TRI-40 is a single spool turbojet engine, consisting of a four-stage axial compressor, annular smokeless combustor and a single-stage turbine. It delivers a maximum thrust of 2.5kN to 3.3kN. The engine can be run on JP8 or JP10 fuel.

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