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Kongsberg's NSM to Replace German Navy Frigates' Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles

At Balt Military Expo 2018, the naval defense exhibition held recently in Gdansk, Poland, Navy Recognition learned from a Kongsberg representative that the company's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) will replace the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile currently fitted aboard German Navy (Marine) surface combatants: F123, F124, F125 and MKS180 frigates will be getting the Norwegian missile as part of the cooperation agreement between Norway and Germany.

Kongsberg picture showing an NSM being launched.Kongsberg picture showing an NSM being launched.

Navy Recognition understand however that the K130 Batch II (five additional Braunschweig-class corvettes to be delivered to the German Navy from 2022 to 2025) will still be fitted with Saab RBS-15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles (as planed) because of the involvement of German company Diehl in the missile. The F122 Bremen-class of frigates will not receive the NSM because the last two vessels of the class will be decommissioned soon like the first six which are already out of service. The class is being replaced by the F125.

About NSM
The NSM is a fifth generation anti-sip missile, developed by KONGSBERG for the Norwegian Navy. NSM reached Initial Operational Capability on the new Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Class frigates and the new Norwegian Skjold Class corvettes in 2012. It is also fielded by the Polish Navy (coastal defense batteries) and has been selected by the navies of Malaysia and Germany. NSM was also selected a few weeks ago as the winner of the U.S. Navy Over-The-Horizon Weapon System (OTH WS) competition.

NSM has an operational range of 185 Km (100 nautical miles) and a high subsonnic speed. It uses Inertial, GPS and terrain-reference navigation and imaging infrared homing (with target database).

Hans Kongelf, Vice President of Missile Systems at Kongsberg previously told Navy Recognition that the main strength of the NSM are:
- Defense penetration capabilities thanks to its stealth, extremely low sea-skimming flight profile and high G maneuvers.
- Target recognition: Each NSM is fitted with a library of ship profiles to recognize each ship classes.
- NSM is available today, it is in production, fielded by the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Polish Navy and selected by the Royal Malaysian Navy and German Navy

The third 125 class frigate, the “Sachsen-Anhalt”, goes out to see for the first time. On 22 February 2018, the ship left the shipyard in Hamburg for the scheduled in-port trials. TKMS picture.

The third 125 class frigate, the “Sachsen-Anhalt”, goes out to see for the first time. On 22 February 2018, the ship left the shipyard in Hamburg for the scheduled in-port trials. TKMS picture.

About MKS180
The 'Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180' (MKS 180)  or Multi-role Combat Ship 180 is a future class of six (initially eight) frigates capable of anti-surface, anti-submarine, anti-air warfare as well as land attack. The three teams bidding to build the new vessels were the Bremen-based shipyard Luerssen and Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems , Blohm + Voss and the Dutch group Damen shipyards, and German Naval Yards paired with Britain’s BAE Systems. In March 2018, the BAAINBw (Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support) excluded the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Lürssen consortium from the tender, leaving Damen Shipyards Group and German Naval Yards face to face.
Key data for the MKS 180:
Length: n/a
Width: n/a
Maximum speed: >26 knots (requirement)
Displacement: approx. > 5800 t (requirement)
Crew: max. 100 + 80 (requirement)

About F125

The F125 Baden-Württemberg-class frigates are a series of four frigates of the German Navy, designed and constructed by ARGE F125 (a joint-venture of Thyssen-Krupp and Lürssen). All four vessels have already been launched (in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017). The last three are still at fitting out stage while the first ship of class is back in the shipyard to fix a series of issues (including a persistent 1.3° list to starboard and weight issues).
Key data for the F125:
Length: 149 m
Width: 18 m
Maximum speed: >26 knots
Displacement: approx. 7,000 t
Crew: max. 190 (of which up to 120 regular crew members)

About F124
The F124 Sachsen-class are air-defense frigates. The design is based on that of the F123 Brandenburg-class with enhanced stealth features. The three vessels of the class are fitted with the APAR multifunction radar and the SMART-L long-range radar. They were commissioned in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Key data for the F124:
Length: 143 m
Width: 17.4 m
Maximum speed: 29 knots
Displacement: approx. 5,800 t
Crew: max. 243 (of which up to 230 regular crew members)

About F123
The F123 Brandenburg-class is a series of four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigates of the German Navy. They were commissioned between 1994 and 1996.
Key data for the F123:
Length: 138.8 m
Width: 16.7 m
Maximum speed: 29 knots
Displacement: approx. 4,490 t
Crew: max. 219