Ukraine wants 5th-gen 124-mi range missile to hit Russian ships

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Polish media indicates ongoing negotiations between Poland and Ukraine on transferring advanced coastal defense systems. Reports mention these talks, regarding the NSM [Naval Strike Missile] transfer, are at a critical stage. Notably, the transfer might be financed by European Union funds, enabling Poland to replenish its NSM stock. 

Poland’s military strength is showcased by its two Coastal Missile Squadrons, each with two batteries. These batteries contain three launchers that can carry four missiles each, backed by advanced command and fire control vehicles. Envision a system with battery and command vehicles, mobile communication hubs, radar technology, and logistics vehicles. This is the state of modern warfare. 

Photo credit: Twitter

Poland was the first to operate the coastal defense variant of the NSM system. The US Marine Corps, Romania, and Latvia followed suit, recognizing its strategic importance. The US Navy and Norway also adopted the NSM missiles, integrating them into their ships. Poland started using the NSM system in 2008, receiving the first system in 2012. This purchase was a strategic decision that greatly enhanced Poland’s coastal defense capabilities.

In 2014, Poland invested $173.5 million in its second NSM system. By 2017, the system was successfully delivered. The contracts included offset and technology transfer agreements, benefiting the Polish defense industry. Through these agreements, the Polish industry, including Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne, improved significantly. They gained expertise in maintaining the NSM system and its missiles.

Photo: Kongsberg

How will NSM help Ukraine?

The Naval Strike Missile [NSM] is an advanced, fifth-generation precision strike missile created by Kongsberg Defense Systems. It is an upgrade from the previous Penguin anti-ship missile. 

In the late 1980s, Norway sought to develop a superior anti-ship missile to the AGM-119 Penguin AShM from the 1960s. Their goal was a missile capable of striking from long distances and could also engage ground targets. 

The NSM fulfills these ambitions. It has a flexible firing capability from various platforms and can engage different targets. The missile operates with passive homing and uses advanced terminal maneuvers to avoid enemy air defenses. Think about a missile with built-in sensors and self-guiding systems, able to accurately hit naval and land targets from far away. This is what we’re talking about. 

As per its maker, Kongsberg Company, the NSM is a brilliant creation. It’s notable for its sleek design and high power-to-weight ratio, giving it exceptional maneuverability. With a reach of over 124 miles, the NSM could be a significant resource for Ukraine. It can hit naval and land targets with impressive precision and power. 

Moreover, the NSM has additional remarkable features that increase its battlefield efficiency. Let’s explore what makes this weapon so special. The low-observable characteristics of the NSM make it a stealthy and formidable challenge for detection. 

The NSM uses advanced technologies and minimizes radar cross-section to reduce early detection, giving Ukraine a tactical advantage. As it nears its target, the NSM exhibits unpredictable movements to evade enemy air defense systems. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The NSM uses an imaging infrared [IIR] system for terminal homing, avoiding radio-frequency warnings and resisting RF jamming tactics. With this capability, NSM is a reliable and effective weapon system. Its potential use in an onshore missile system would provide Ukraine with a strong defense against Russia’s surface fleet.

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