Navy Selects Naval Strike Missile for LCS Over-the-Horizon Missile
By RICHARD D. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has selected the team of Raytheon Missile Systems and Kongsberg Gruppen to provide over-the-horizon missiles for the fleet’s littoral combat ships (LCSs) and the future guided-missile frigates.
Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Raytheon a $14.9 million firm, fixed-price contract to build and deliver the Over-the-Horizon (OTH) Weapon System, including encanistered Naval Strike Missiles (NSMs), launchers and a fire-control suite, according to a May 31 Defense Department contract announcement. The missiles, built by Kongsberg Gruppen in Norway, will include operational, telemetered and inert missiles. The contract includes mission support equipment, training equipment and courses, engineering services and other items.
Exercise of the contract options could bring the value of the contract to $847.6 million.
In a June 1 teleconference with reporters, Chris Daily, Raytheon’s senior director for Naval Strike Missile, Joint Strike Missile and Tomahawk, noted that the selection of Kongsberg’s off-the-shelf NSM would save on development costs and time because “it’s a ready-now system … that is in production, fielded and meets all of the requirements of the request for proposals for the LCS mission.
“NSM is a long-range precision missile that strikes heavily defended land and sea targets,” a June 1 Raytheon release said. “The missile, which can defeat enemy defenses up to 100 nautical miles away, uses advanced seeker and target identification technology.”
An NSM was fired from the LCS USS Coronado during a Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise.
Daily said Raytheon’s proposal assumed the OTH missile would be selected for the future guided-missile frigate as well. He said that after a year of silence for the competition, Raytheon officials are now in discussions with the Navy to determine the schedule and other details of the program. The number of systems to be installed on the LCS fleet has not been determined, he said.
He also said the degree to which the OTH Weapon System would be integrated in the LCS and future frigate is yet to be determined.
While Kongsberg will manufacture the missile components, the missiles will be assembled by Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona. Raytheon already has begun to build the launchers in Louisville, Kentucky.
Raytheon’s portion of the program currently is about 10 percent, Daily said, but with this contract it is expected to grow to 25 percent. He said the company’s participation eventually could shoot up to 50 percent.
“Raytheon and Kongsberg are providing the Navy with a proven, off-the-shelf solution that exceeds requirements for the over-the-horizon mission,” Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, said in the June 1 release. “Because it is operational now, NSM saves the United States billions of dollars in development costs and creates new high-tech jobs in this country.”
Oeyvind Kolset, vice president, Missile Systems, Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, also speaking at the teleconference, said the potential for more sales of the NSM was high.
“There are a lot of SSMs [surface-to-surface missiles] in service today that will reach the end of their lives in a few years,” he said.