The long-range precision strike capability of the Royal Navy will be boosted in a new deal with the Norwegian government. The deal strengthens defence ties between the U.K. and Norway.
Royal Navy frigates and destroyers will get a significant boost to their long-range precision strike capabilities following a new partnership between the U.K. and key NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) ally, Norway.
Strengthening defence ties between the U.K. and Norway, the Royal Navy will receive the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), outfitted on a total of eleven Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers, in collaboration with the Norwegian government.
Measuring nearly 4 metres long, the NSMs are a fifth-generation missile using integrated sensors and autonomous target recognition to precisely strike enemy ships and targets on land at distances of more than 100 nautical miles (115 miles) at high subsonic speeds. It can elude enemy radar and defence systems by flying at sea-skimming altitude and using evasive manoeuvres.
“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,” says U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
Replacing the Harpoon surface-to-surface weapon, due to go out of service in 2023, the world-class anti-ship missile will be fitted to three vessels at pace and, will be ready for operations onboard the first Royal Navy vessel in a little over 12 months. The collaboration will result in more ships equipped with the highly sophisticated naval strike missiles, which in turn will contribute in enhancing the security in our common areas of interest.
“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 U.K. vessels,” says Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
The missile system will be integrated in U.K. Dockyards through Babcock and BAe with Norwegian support; the missile system is manufactured by Kongsberg Defence Aerospace.
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