Jul 20, 2014

Norway’s Joint Strike Missile Tempts Aussies; Raytheon Likes It Too

It’s a remarkable story, really. A fairly tiny country, Norway, decides to place a $1.3 billion bet on developing one of the world’s most capable missiles to be fired from what will probably become the world’s most popular fighter, the F-35.
The missile, known as the Joint Strike Missile, may become a standard weapon for the Joint Strike Fighter. Australia expressed interest in buying them at a meeting last month.
Also, the Norwegians have pitched the weapon, built by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, to Japan and South Korea and will probably try to sell it to everyone who buys an F-35.
The JSM is the first weapon specifically designed to fit inside the F-35’s stealthy weapons bays (although the missile does not fit the Marine’s F-35B version of the aircraft because it has an adumbrated bay thanks to its vertical lift capabilities).
It’s got impressive stand-off range, a very small profile, the ability to hide using nap-of-the-earth flight and by using topographical data in its guidance system, and it can evade destruction in its final approach to the target through sharp maneuvers, the Norwegians say.
One of the giant American primes clearly believes the missile has promise. Raytheon and Kongsberg announced that they will team to compete for the ”Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare” (shortened to the incredibly awkward OASuW) program for which the US Navy has placed more than $1 billion in the budget over the next five years. The program, which must get a new name, will replace the old Harpoon anti-ship missile.

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