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US Navy prepares to test fire Naval Strike Missile from LCS

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The Norwegian Navy's Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate had test fired the NSM during the RIMPAC exercise in July 2014. A Norwegian Navy photo

KONGSBERG, NORWAY (BNS): Norwegian defence firm Kongsberg has been contracted by the US Navy to demonstrate the test firing of a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) from Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Coronado.

The contract, awarded under the Foreign Comparative Testing programme, will involve an NSM demonstrating its capability to engage a surface target at a range of 100 nautical miles (185 kilometres) from the LCS.

The test is planned to be conducted this month from the Independence-class LCS USS Coronado of the US Navy.

This demonstration programme follows a successful NSM live fire event from the Royal Norwegian Navy's Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate witnessed by the US Navy during the recently completed Rim of the Pacific 2014 maritime exercise, Kongsberg said.

"We are very pleased that the US Navy has decided to evaluate the NSM missile," Harald Annestad, President Kongsberg, said.

"This contract does not however include any commitment for the US Navy beyond the test, but confirms NSM's unique capabilities and the test will enable the US Navy to study it closer in a realistic scenario," the top official added.

According to Kongsberg, the NSM is a fifth-generation long range precision strike missile. The radar-evading sea-skimming missile has both land-attack and anti-ship capabilities.

It has been chosen by the Royal Norwegian Navy for its new frigates and new coastal corvettes and will be fully operational on these platforms when they enter service in near future. The Polish Navy has also selected the missile for use on its new coastal artillery installations.

Kongsberg is also looking at the US Navy as a potential customer for the new weapon.

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