A look at the Navy’s slick new Norwegian antiship missile

Naval strike missile NSM konsberg
Naval Strike Missile launch from USS Coronado (LCS-4) in September 2014. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary D. Bell

As part of the Navy’s push towards “distributed lethatlity,” littoral combat ships will soon be equipped with the Norwegian built Naval Strike Missile (NSM), an “over-the-horizon” antiship cruise missile with a range of about 115 miles.

The US Navy has long sought to increase the firepower of its more numerous smaller ships, and the NSM, developed by Norway’s Kongsberg fits the bill.

The missile is designed to challenge all types of enemy defences, with a stealthy design that is hard for radars to detect and the ability to skim just feet above the ocean’s surface.

“It can determine ships in a group of ships by ship class, locating the ship which is its designated target. It will attack only that target,” Gary Holst, senior director for Naval Surface Warfare at Kongsberg, told Scout Warrior.

Not only does the NSM confuse and evade enemy defences, it has an infrared imaging seeker to stay on target.

Here’s a GIF of the NSM in action. (Keep in mind that to keep testing costs down, the missile was not intended to sink the ship)

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