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Exclusive: Latest Details on Kongsberg NSM-SL (Submarine Launch) Weapon System
 
Kongsberg is still working on a submarine launched variant of its Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and is cooperating with Babock and Nammo for this project. The information was confirmed to Navy Recognition by a Kongsberg official. We first revealed the existence of this project last year during Balt Military Expo, a maritime defense exhibition held every two years in Poland.
Kongsberg is still working on a submarine launched variant of its Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and is cooperating with Babock and Nammo for this project. The information was confirmed to Navy Recognition by a Kongsberg official. We first revealed the existence of this project last year during Balt Military Expo, a maritime defense exhibition held every two years in Poland.
 
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Focus - Kongsberg NSM-SL
 
 
 
Exclusive: Latest Details on Kongsberg NSM-SL (Submarine Launch) Weapon System
 
Kongsberg is still working on a submarine launched variant of its Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and is cooperating with Babock and Nammo for this project. The information was confirmed to Navy Recognition by a Kongsberg official. We first revealed the existence of this project last year during Balt Military Expo, a maritime defense exhibition held every two years in Poland.

Norway is fully funding the development of JSM (Joint Strike Missile), an air-launched version of NSM (Naval Strike Missile). The JSM will provide F-35 and other fighter aircrafts with a long-range precision strike capability against heavily defended targets at sea and on land.
     
Norway's six Ula class submarines were commissioned between 1989 and 1992, designed for a service life of thirty years. These submarines will be phased out in the 2020's. In addition to aging, technological advances make the Ula-class, which is based on design and technology from the 1980’s, insufficient to meet future, high-tech threats. Picture: RNON Norway's six Ula class submarines were commissioned between 1989 and 1992, designed for a service life of thirty years. These submarines will be phased out in the 2020's. In addition to aging, technological advances make the Ula-class, which is based on design and technology from the 1980’s, insufficient to meet future, high-tech threats. Picture: RNON
     
According to Kongsberg, since Norway has decided to enter in to a definition phase of procuring the next generation submarine to replace the ULA class, undoubtedly the need for expanding the firepower capability from the submarines will carefully be considered by the Ministry of Defence. The ability to strike and neutralise high value targets with high precision from extended standoff ranges will probably become a key requirement, since it provides a strong and reliable deterrence in a changing defense and security policy environment. Recent events in Crimea and Ukraine prove the need to focus on reliable deterrence and capabilities to counter potential aggression.

Based on this perspective, Kongsberg have recognized the need for conducting concept studies to assess the benefits of providing a submarine launched JSM capability. Kongsberg is conducting conceptual studies in close co-operation with the Defense Systems Technology, a business unit of British company Babcock International and Norwegian based Nammo. Babcock brings substantial submarine weapon integration expertise to the studies, whilst Nammo is a well-known manufacturer of booster rocket motors. The current weapon system studies are being conducted under the project name, NSM-SL (Submarine Launch) since NSM is the family name used by the Norwegian Navy. The Royal Norwegian Navy Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and Skjold-class corvettes are all equipped with NSM surface-to-surface missile system.
     
Kongsberg is still working on a submarine launched variant of its Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and is cooperating with Babock and Nammo for this project. The information was confirmed to Navy Recognition by a Kongsberg official. We first revealed the existence of this project last year during Balt Military Expo, a maritime defense exhibition held every two years in Poland. A scale model of the NSM-SL (submarine launch) was shown for the first time by Kongsberg during Balt Military Expo 2014.
     
The objective of the ongoing concept studies is to illustrate the potential for a low risk, affordable adaptation program. Encapsulated launch from a standard torpedo tube based on a JSM baseline configuration utilizing a thrust vector controlled booster are the ground rules for the studies. Babcock is responsible for developing the canister concept. The system will only require minor changes to the JSM airframe; however, all internal components will be kept unchanged. The operational capabilities of NSM-SL will be similar to JSM with stand off ranges well beyond 300 km. Kongsberg is aiming to be ready for the test and integration firings on the Next Generation Norwegian Submarines in 2025.

Kongsberg are considering the market potential for this system to be high, since Sub Harpoon will have to be replaced by many navies in the near future and the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) option might not be easily accessible. Kongsberg is naturally looking at Norway as the primary customer, however, numerous other NATO countries and Western allies including Australia, Poland, Singapore and Japan are prospective future opportunities that have new submarine and weapon integration programs.

Today, NSM is in full production, fielded by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Polish Navy and selected by the Royal Malaysian Navy. Kongsberg is actively pitching the missile to the US Navy with its US partner Raytheon. Kongsberg is also working on a vertical launch variant of the missile as we were the first to report.