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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Kongsberg a Norwegian company has developed a helicopter-launched variant of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) a fifth-generation high-subsonic, anti-ship / land-attack cruise missile that can be used against the sea and land-based targets in littoral and open sea environments. India will be the first country to purchase the NSM-HL variant for its 24 MH-60R helicopters after the Indian Navy shows indent to procure two Naval Strike Missile Emulators as well as four Naval Strike Missile Captive Inert Training missiles.

Indian Navy will be having a separate contract with the Kongsberg, once it starts taking deliveries of the MH-60R helicopters, Raytheon NSM Program Director Randy Kempton has confirmed that NSM has been approved for rotary-wing platforms so integration work can now start. NSM-HL missile utilizes MIL-STD 1760 electrical interface and is drop-launched from a standard BRU-14 bomb rack.

NSM-HL has been manufactured with composite materials that are meant to give the missile sophisticated stealth capabilities due to which the missile weighs slightly more than 400 kg but still has a range of 185km. NSM-HL After being launched into the air by a solid rocket booster which is jettisoned upon burning out, the missile is propelled to its target in high subsonic speed by a turbojet sustainer engine—leaving the 125 kg multi-purpose blast/fragmentation warhead to do its work, which in case of a ship target means impacting the ship at or near the waterline.

NSM is operational with four Navy and is armed from frigates to a littoral combat ship, but India will be the first customer that will have that Helicopter launch variant of the missile that will make the weapons system much more lethal due to the incremental range at which MH-60R helicopters can deliver this missile towards its target.

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