The Spanish Navy has chosen the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) to replace its Harpoon anti-ship missile.
The anti-ship weapon was selected out of a group of three candidates, including the MBDA Exocet MM40 Block 3c and the Saab RBS 15 Mk3+, Naval News revealed.
“The decision was taken in a working group held to decide between 4th and 5th generation missiles. Different aspects were considered such as operational capabilities, survivability, maintenance, etc,” the outlet reported, quoting the navy’s communication department.
The missile will be installed on the F-100 Álvaro de Bazán-class and the future F-110 frigates.
Delivery is expected before the retirement of the Harpoon around 2030.
US Navy Also Buying for Over-The-Horizon Program
Raytheon Missiles & Defense has also awarded Kongsberg a contract for 328 million Norwegian kroner ($33.4 million) to supply the missile for the US Navy’s Over-The-Horizon Weapon System (OTH WS) program.
The navy announced the OTH WS framework agreement in 2018 for 7.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($800 million). Orders worth 1.76 billion Norwegian kroner ($179 million) have already been awarded under the agreement.
The program consists of a long-range, surface-to-surface weapon system that engages maritime targets within and beyond the radar horizon.
The navy intends to equip littoral combat ship variants, guided missile frigates, and amphibious LPDs (landing platform, dock) with the missile.
Five Independence-class littoral combat ships have already been outfitted with the missile, including the USS Oakland, USS Jackson, USS Charleston, USS Gabrielle Giffords, and USS Tulsa.
The high subsonic missile has a range of over 185 kilometers (115 miles/100 nautical miles), according to Kongsberg. It can be launched from sea, air, and ground-based platforms against land and sea targets.
The fifth-generation missile’s passive sensor, low sea-skimming altitude, and advanced terminal maneuverability allow it to evade enemy air defense systems.
The missile’s high-resolution imaging infrared seeker employs autonomous target recognition for precise strikes.