Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Australia approves plan to replace aging Harpoon missiles

Australian authorities have approved the plan to acquire Naval Strike Missiles from Kongsberg as a replacement for the current Harpoon missiles on the Hobart class Destroyers and Anzac class Frigates.

The Australian government has approved the accelerated acquisition of improved weapon capabilities for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) at a total cost of $3.5 billion, including the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet.

Acquisition of the Kongsberg NSM to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile in the ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers provides a significant enhancement to Australia’s maritime strike capability – more than doubling the current maritime strike range of our frigates and destroyers.

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Commencing in 2024, ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers will have the NSM capability installed.

The government press release said that the combination of NSM and previously announced Tomahawk Cruise Missiles is the best mix of capability to meet Australia’s needs and is proven in service with our key alliance partner, the United States.

Kongsberg says the Naval Strike Missile is a fifth-generation missile with a low radar signature for use in sea-to-sea or sea-to-land defense. The missile, with its superior performance, can go up against well-defended targets with the ability to penetrate the most advanced air defense.

NSM is set up with integrated sensors to locate exact targets to engage, and will self-destruct if it is unable to locate its intended target – a build-in safety mechanism avoiding collateral damage.

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About this Author

Daisuke Sato
Daisuke Sato is defense reporter, covering the Asia-Pacific defense industrial base, defense markets and all related issues.

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