08 May 15. DoD Release of the Report of Military and Security Developments in China. Department of Defense released the “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”. This annual report informs Congress of the Department of Defense’s assessment of military and security developments involving China. As stipulated by law, the report is a DoD product and is transmitted to Congress by the secretary of defense. It is coordinated with other agencies and departments across the U.S. government and is the authoritative assessment from the United States government on military and security developments involving China. (Source: US DoD)
07 May 15. Kongsberg, Raytheon NSM teaming targets USN’s future frigate programme. Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile is fired from the USN’s LCS USS Coronado (LCS 4) in September 2014 on the Point Mugu sea test range, southern California. Kongsberg and Raytheon have signed a teaming agreement to offer NSM to potential customers including the USN’s frigate programme. Source: US Navy
* The Naval Strike Missile expected to be offered as an anti-ship weapon for the frigate and LCS programmes
* Raytheon’s global supply chain and US-based missile production line could help lower NSM costs
With the US Navy (USN) firming up its future frigate acquisition approach, Kongsberg Defence Systems and Raytheon Missile Systems see their recent teaming on Norway’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as providing an anti-ship missile option to meet the programme’s over-the-horizon lethality requirement. The two industry partners also believe that the offering’s price point will be ‘cost competitive’. The teaming agreement between Kongsberg and Raytheon is designed to enable the two companies to offer NSM to potential customers in the United States and elsewhere. Company officials said that the joint venture’s first US business opportunity is via the USN’s frigate (FF) programme, under which acquisitions are planned to begin in fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019).
“The timing for this is optimal,” Thomas Bussing, vice-president of Raytheon advanced missile systems, told reporters during an April briefing on the agreement at Kongsberg’s Alexandria, Virginia, office. “The USN is looking for innovative low-cost solutions for anti-surface warfare weapons, anti-ship weapons. This teaming relationship allows us to bring a very cost-effective [weapon] to the marketplace at this particular time.”
NSM is a Kongsberg-developed, stealthy surface-to-surface guided weapon that is currently operational on board the Royal Norwegian Navy’s (RNoN’s) corvettes and frigates. With a range of 200 km, the canister-launched sea-skimming missile is able to discriminate targets autonomously, as well as employing evasive manoeuvres to defeat close-in shipboard defensive systems. Poland also has acquired the missile for a mobile coastal defence system. Kongsberg and Raytheon officials said that they hope to make inroads into the USN’s small surface combatant programme, a 52-ship class comprising two Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) variants and a future upgraded flight 1 vessel (which in early 2015 was re-designated as a frigate). The frigate is intended as a 20-vessel programme to be based on a modified design from the current LCS programme. The navy is acquiring 32 LCSs, currently split between two variants, the Freedom steel monohull and the Independence aluminium trimaran design. At the annual Navy League Sea-Air-Space symposium in April, USN’s frigate programme manager Captain Dan Brintzinghoffer told reporters that he anticipates the navy selecting only a single missile system that would be fitted onto the vessel – even if the service opts to continue procuring two different ship variants. Whichever missile is selected could also be retrofitted onto LCS.
“It’ll be a defining of the requirement – how far, how big, how long, what type of targeting capability it has – and then figuring out which missile meets that req