UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS HIGHNESS SHEIKH TAMIM BIN HAMAD AL THANI, AMIR OF THE STATE OF QATAR
Barzan & QAF_White Text Barzan & QAF_Black Text
NAVAL CUSTOMERS DRAW ATTENTION ON NEW MISSILE TECHNOLOGY

NAVAL CUSTOMERS DRAW ATTENTION ON NEW MISSILE TECHNOLOGY

Kongsberg Defence Systems and Boeing recently completed a successful fit-check of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) on an F/A-18F SUPER HORNET fighter aircraft at Boeing’s St. Louis manufacturing facility to ensure the weapons fit on the aircraft’s external pylons.

Kongsberg Defence Systems and Boeing recently completed a successful fit-check of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) on an F/A-18F SUPER HORNET fighter aircraft at Boeing’s St. Louis manufacturing facility to ensure the weapons fit on the aircraft’s external pylons. The JSM is a fifth-generation, long-range, low-observable stand-off missile for engaging sea and land targets. Autonomous Target Recognition (ATR) technology ensures the identification of targets to ship class level, preventing attack of neutral ships. The completion of the fit-check on an F/A-18F fighter aircraft validates the JSM compatibility with existing fleets of aircraft and provides a near-term strong capability against advanced threats, said Harald Ånnestad, President of Kongsberg Defence Systems. Both Kongsberg and Boeing plan to conduct wind tunnel testing for the Block II SUPER HORNET later in 2014.

Meanwhile, Kongsberg Defence Systems signed a bridging-phase contract leading to Phase 3 with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) for further development of the JSM. In the JSM Development Phase 2, the weapon underwent detailed design and a successful integration check for the JSF as well as for the F-16 and the F-18. In Phase 3, the weapon will be completed for serial production, including a number of test missiles for trials from the aircraft.

Kongsberg Defence Systems’ Naval Strike Missile (NSM or Nytt Sjomalsmissil) could be the weapon of choice for a number of procurement programmes in the future. The 500kg, stealth-enhanced missile can be grouped as a new-generation weapon well beyond the US-manufactured HARPOON, offering a 108nm (200km) operational range. The missile uses GPS/INS guidance plus an imaging IR (IIR) seeker, in-flight data-link, and also an ATR suite. Its digital flight control computer allows the missile to follow the complex contours of fjords before seeking its target. The NSM has been developed to meet the Royal Norwegian Navy's requirement for a new ship-, helicopter-, and ground-launched anti-ship missile. Its innovative 120kg fragmentation warhead has been designed to cope with the Navy’s land attack requirements. The “Skjold” class fast strike craft KNM “Glimt” (P 964) conducted the first live firing of two NSM missiles in mid-October 2012, which was followed by the first technical evaluation firing trials and another live firings conducted in May/June 2013. Additional NSM firings are planned for spring 2014. Once the evaluation firings are completed, the NSM will be declared fully operational.

The first batch of the NSM has been delivered to Poland, outfitting the Coastal Defence Missile Battalion (Nadbrzezny Dywizjon Rakietowy; NDR). Poland that will received 48 NSM is the first export customer for the NSM. (For additional information on Poland’s NSM purchase see NAVAL FORCES V/2013, Page 93).

MBDA and Lockheed Martin demonstrated the first launch of a Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s Mk41 vertical launch system (VLS) using a variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS). This has been the first test by MBDA and Lockheed Martin since the May 2013 announcement of cooperation between the two companies to offer MBDA missile systems for use with the Mk41 and ExLS family of shipboard launchers. The recent trial has used MBDA’s soft vertical launch technology to eject the CAMM effector from its canister and position the missile for main motor ignition. The trial is the first in a series to demonstrate that  CAMM can be installed using ExLS on-board surface combatants that use the MK41 VLS or the three-cell ExLS CAMM launcher. As said by George Barton, Vice President of Business Development of Ship & Aviation Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission System & Training business, the multi-missile Mk41 VLS has fundamentally changed the way world Navies think about sea-launched weapons by providing the flexibility to respond to numerous threats.

On 9 September 2013, MBDA received a £250M production contract from the UK Ministry of Defence for the delivery of the SEA CEOPTOR air defence weapon system comprising CAMM plus other system equipment. SEA CEPTOR will initially equip the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates from 2016 onwards replacing SEAWOLF and then be integrated into the Type 26 frigates as the primary air defence system. SEA CEPTOR ensures the Royal Navy will be deploying with the latest air defence missile system, protecting the launch vessel and nearby deployed forces under its defensive cover from a wide range of airborne threats.