To paraphrase The Joker from Batman, where do they get these wonderful toys??
Well, to start, the Navy got its new long-range, anti-ship missile from Norwegian defense contractor Kongsberg. And the subsonic projectile is one of the coolest pieces of military hardware in quite some time.
While the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) doesn’t have the sexiest name, it more than makes up for it with its range, maneuverability, and automated targeting capabilities — the NSM can autonomously target specific sections of a ship based on its silhouette.
But this is the cherry on top. The NSM nearly doubles the Harpoon missile’s effective range of 64 nautical miles. Unclassified reports peg the NSM’s range at more than 100 nautical miles. And then there’s the autonomous targeting. Very cool stuff.
And I’m not the only one transfixed by what’s being called the only “fifth generation long range precision strike missile in existence.”
Following a demonstration aboard the littoral combat ship Coronado on Sept. 23, Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, head of the littoral combat ship program office, gushed that, “This demonstration provided us with a tremendous opportunity to see the capabilities of both the ship and the missile, and what we saw today has great potential for LCS and other fleet assets.”
In the test-fire scenario, the NSM struck a moving target 100 nautical miles away.
The NSM is already operational in its home country of Norway along with Poland, and the Navy is already proposing different variations for ships, aircraft, ground forces, and even submarines.
In addition, the NSM sports composite materials enabling stealth capabilities, and an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker enables the autonomous targeting. GPS, inertial, and terrain reference system assist with navigation. Speed hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s rumored to be “high subsonic” (up to 610 MPH).
More on this story as it develops.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense