NSM missiles have a high speed and a very low altitude, which makes it "virtually impossible" to detect and stop them before they reach their target. With a range of "over 200 km" they are close to being an advanced brother to American Tomahawk or Russian Kalibr, Verdens Gang noted.
"This increases our overall military capacity significantly. Now, the Norwegian Navy is able to attack ground targets with a weapon system that is both long range and high precision," Navy information officer Per Rostad told VG.
Bratlie noted the great export potential for the missiles, as a number of NATO member states with outdated missile arsenals supposedly showed a "marked interest." At present, the NSM is one of two finalists in a bid to land a major contract with the US Navy. The deal to equip 52 new Littoral Combat Ships with cruise missiles may actually mean billions of kroner in revenue as well as a large number of jobs for the Norwegian defense industry.
"Most of the Norwegian values upon which our welfare state is built are coming from the sea. The Navy's task is to ensure access to all these areas and resources, such as fish, oil or gas, in the years to come. We already have few warships available, and it would be a significant loss if we lose such a useful resource as the corvettes," Rostad said.
The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA). A multi-role version of the NSM is in development. This missile is called Joint Strike Missile (JSM) and will be integrated with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II "Joint Strike Fighter". Kongsberg is also working on a version to be launched from submarines.