Last summer the US Navy selected the Raytheon-Kongsberg NAVAL STRIKE MISSILE (NSM) as its over-the-horizon weapon system for its LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS (LCS)-class variants. NSM appears to be the designated “government furnished equipment” weapon (canister-launched OTH weapon with fire control system) on the still conceptual, but quickly evolving FF(G)X-class. While NSM is a mature Norwegian weapon developed with about U$1 billion in programme investments, Raytheon is establishing its US supplier base.
Indeed, as this symposium convened, Raytheon and Kentucky-based Phoenix Products, Inc. signed a US Defense Department Mentor-Protégé agreement to produce NSM transport containers. While Raytheon hosted its initial NSM Supplier Day last November, Randy Kempton, Raytheon’s Program Director, for NSM and Joint Strike Missile (JSM) emphasised, “it is not too late,” for other companies to join this new weapons industry team.
While NSM consists of 25% US-work content, conceptually, “we have a plan to go to 50% and then more than that,” the Tucson-based executive added. In what was most likely an attention-getter for Pacific Rim nations, last July during 2018 RIMPAC, the US Army shot the NSM from the back of a truck using its PALLETIZED LOAD SYSTEM and helped sink the EX-USS RACINE, which was floating 55nm north of Kauai, Hawaii.
The NSM industry team’s near-term focus is integrating NSM on LCS and then most likely on FF(G)X, and does not expect any major, near-term technology missile enhancements. Raytheon has US Navy fiscal year (FY)2019 funding to move NSM forward.
Elsewhere in Raytheon’s missile portfolio, the company is in production for the TOMAHAWK cruise missile with US Navy FYs2017 and 18 funding. Raytheon is implementing a major programme milestone this year – the 15-year recertification of all Block IV variants delivered starting in 2004. Chris Daily, Raytheon’s Program Director for TOMAHAWK, NSM and JSM, noted the recertification work will enable the missile rounds to remain lethal and relevant for another 15 years.
“When they go out, they will all go out with an advanced communications suite, adding capability,” he explained, and added, “additionally we are on contract and working MST [Maritime Strike Tomahawk] Phase 1. That programme is going very, very well.”
The MST phase places the seeker on TOMAHAWK to enable it to strike maritime moving targets while retaining the current land-attack capability. Approximately one-third of recertified TOMAHAWKs are expected to be MST-configured. “Additionally, Joint Multi-Effects Warhead (JMEWS) was funded at a small amount in FY 2019. Hopefully, we’ll see a larger amount for engineering and manufacturing JMEW development in the FY2020 budget [to be delivered to US Congress this February]. TOMAHAWK is becoming a truly multi-mission weapon,” Mr Daily emphasised.