To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

Royal Navy selects Naval Strike Missile

23rd November 2022 - 16:30 GMT | by Harry Lye in London


The Naval Strike Missile carries a 125kg warhead. (Photo: Kongsberg)

The UK is joining a growing club of Naval Strike Missile operators with an ambition to get the weapon on ships and into service in a little over 12 months.

The UK RN's Duke-class Type 23 frigates and Daring-class Type 45 destroyers will be equipped with Kongsberg's Naval Strike Missile under a new partnership announced between the UK and Norway.

The selection of the missiles comes after, in July, Shephardreported the UK was negotiating a purchase of the weapon. Under the plans, the RN will equip eleven ships across the frigate and destroyer classes.

Three vessels will be equipped with the missiles and ready for operations in a little over a year.

'This new agreement cements our partnership with one of our closest allies, whilst strengthening our Royal Navy with a new surface-to-surface strike capability.'UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

The Naval Strike Missile is a subsonic, sea-skimming, anti-ship and land-attack missile designed to strike heavily defended land and sea targets.

The missiles will replace the Harpoon Block 1C, scheduled to go out of service at the end of 2023. The quick timeline quashes a looming surface-to-surface missile capability gap.

The UK and Norway have established a designated team that, with the support of Kongsberg, will work on integrating the weapon.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the decision on board Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth amid a meeting of Northern Group Defence Ministers.

Wallace said: 'We have a long history of defence cooperation with Norway. This new agreement cements our partnership with one of our closest allies, whilst strengthening our Royal Navy with a new surface-to-surface strike capability.'

Naval Strike Missile (NSM)
TitleNaval Strike Missile (NSM)
CategoriesMissiles and rockets, Missiles and rockets
SubcategoriesAnti-ship missiles, Multipurpose missiles
SuppliersKongsberg Defence & Aerospace, Raytheon
Manufacturer CountryNORWAY
Total Ordered162
Total Delivered62
Unit Cost (US$)1000000.00
First Delivery Date2011
Out Of Service Date2036
StatusIn production
Length 1 (overall)3.95m
Weight 1 (overall)410kg
Range 1 (overall travel)185km
Diameter 1 (overall)U

This data has been verified by the same team that brings you Defence Insight. Want to learn more?

Babcock and BAE Systems will integrate the missile system onto RN ships at UK dockyards with the support of Norway.

The decision will see all three AUKUS partners operating the same missile system. Poland, Germany, Norway, Canada, India, Malaysia and Romania have also selected the missile.

For many operators, the Naval Strike Missile has become the de-facto replacement for the ageing Harpoon system.

Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram said: 'This is a significant task with an ambitious timeline. Both nations have established a designated team with a strong mandate to ensure the success of this common effort.

'The Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is supporting the joint team with their expertise and the planned integration on the UK vessels.'

In a statement, Kongsberg said it 'cannot provide any further comment on the potential size of this contract.'

The Naval Strike Missile was offered to the UK RN under its scrapped Interim Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon (I-SSGW) project.

Kongsberg bills the Norwegian-developed missile as a 'fifth-generation', long-range, precision strike missile designed to defeat heavily protected maritime targets.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the Naval Strike Missile has a 125kg HE blast fragmentation warhead and a range of 185-555km, depending on the flight profile.

It has inertial, GPS, and terrain-reference navigation systems and comes with imaging, infrared homing, and a target database.

Harry Lye


Harry Lye

Harry Lye is Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

Read full bio

Share to