Jul 29, 2014
USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship to Conduct Test of Konsberg Norwegian Missile
The US Navy confirmed this week that the Coronado is scheduled to test-launch the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) off Point Mugu, California, where the Naval Air Warfare Center maintains an extensively-instrumented missile range.
The test will follow a successful NSM launch July 10 from the Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises near Hawaii. The frigate fired a single NSM at the decommissioned amphibious ship Ogden and scored a direct hit.
The NSM is a 13-foot-long weapon already in service aboard Norwegian warships and with Polish defense forces in a land-based, truck-mounted version. A helicopter-launched version is under development, and the company recently announced it was working on a smaller, submarine-launched variant.
Kongsberg has been aggressively targeting the US Navy as a potential NSM customer. The LCS, although planned to carry the non-line-of-sight missile, has been without a missile system since the US Army cancelled NLOS development in early 2011. The Navy recently decided to begin development work to adapt the proven Hellfire missile to naval use for the LCS.
The NSM, in the 500-pound class of missile, is significantly larger than the Hellfire, in the 100-pound class. The smaller missile could essentially be a placeholder until a more effective weapon can be identified.
In addition to Kongsberg, other missile makers, including Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, have been working on potential weapons to arm the LCS. Lockheed makes the Hellfire, while Raytheon’s small Griffin missile was briefly considered, then dropped, as an interim weapon aboard LCS.