The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during Exercise Pacific Griffin.

The US Navy say that Pacific Griffin is a biennial exercise conducted in the waters near Guam aimed at enhancing combined proficiency at sea while strengthening relationships between the U.S. and Republic of Singapore navies.

“Today was a terrific accomplishment for USS Gabrielle Giffords crew and the Navy’s LCS class” said Cmdr. Matthew Lehmann, commanding officer.

“I am very proud of all the teamwork that led to the successful launch of the NSM.”

The NSM is a long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away. The stealthy missile flies at sea-skimming altitude, has terrain-following capability and uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting in challenging conditions.

Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, said in a release:

“LCS packs a punch and gives potential adversaries another reason to stay awake at night,” Tynch said. “We are stronger when we sail together with our friends and partners, and LCS is an important addition to the lineup.”

The weapon was first demonstrated on littoral combat ship USS Coronado in 2014.

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Mark Wallace

RN needs this now as the Harpoon replacement, to be installed on Daring T45 Destroyers, T23, T26 and T31 Frigates.
Proven capability, compatible stocks with US, Norway and others. Stop dithering MOD and do it.


I believe the RN has a stated requirement for a AshM with some ground attack capability which, if true, will mean we are likely to get the Saab RB15 on some ships. Expect a very limited order of missiles and launchers while we wait for T26, its VLS, and Perseus.


The NSM has a very capable land attack option as well. This led to the joint strike missile which is a more multi-purpose weapon.


Aren’t they two different missiles though? It sounds as though the RN want one missile on their ships that can also hit land targets.

This was my source.


I think that HM government has rather a lot on its plate at the moment. With all these promises of jam today, Boris will probably not want to commit to defence spending where there isn’t any electoral advantage!


I’m not sure I haven’t stumbled across something. Listen to this video from about 3 weeks ago with a Raytheon guy talking about NSM/JSM … For the impatient, skip to time index 5:30 at which point they are discussing NSM/JSM and the Raytheon guy says… “The leverage we enjoy from the Naval Strike Missile to pass those savings on not only to the domestic war fighter in the United States but also our U …. our international partners” Is it just me or does he almost say “our UK partners” before correcting himself? He pretty clearly (to my ears)… Read more »


I have listened to it a few times now. You might be right but I’m not sure it is that clear TBH.

Given the relative short range and payload of the NSM when compared to Harpoon and RB15, I’m not sure it is the best option for a blue water navy. That said, if the USN’s buying power mean we can get more systems to fit them to more ships then it could be worth it.


Important point while that missile and range would be a decent fit for a littoral ship which is not expected to engage blue water adversaries but has a last ditch defence should it unexpectedly do so and has some close to land protection in its normal role, it is arguable whether it would be a worthwhile ten year fit for supposedly open ocean warships which would expect to combat such adversaries in a conflict, especially with the developments ‘promised’ by some of those potential adversaries likely over that period. That said one can see the MOD seeing it as a… Read more »


My understanding is the USN does not want the littoral vessels but congress keeps awarding funding to build them .
It has taken years to find a role for the freedom and independence class littoral ships and they failed in many of the scenarios they where designed for.
A classic example of American pork barrel politics building 24 vessels that the navy dose not want and don’t work .


LCS units actually work fairly well with only two, actual breakdowns (USS Fort Worth and USS Milwaukee) with other reported “problems” being no different than the ones any Navy sees day to day. The only difference is that LCS system issues got coverage where those of the DDG 51 and other classes did not.


I work with USN staff who have worked on LCS .
LCS is an unmitigated disaster.
It is now 3-4 years since the first vessels should have been working in the Gulf region , they are still not here and that date keeps going right.

Regarding NSM its light on the warhead. The recent Sinkex where NSM was shot did not produce any kill shots against the OHP target vessel. In the end it needed a sub launched torpedo to break the vessels back to get it to sink.

Its better than nothing but its not a cure all.


“Worked on LCS” covers a wide territory and time going back to the early 2000’s when the LCS program had significant issues. That has not been the case since the program was put under PEO leadership in 2012. LCS is not a traditional USN combatant in that it does not deploy with a unitary crew. LCS needed to have a decent number of commissioned units and enough trained rotational crews to deploy them in numbers to more than one geographic area. Congress consistently failed to fund what the Navy asked for terms of LCS and they are to “blame” more… Read more »


Working on LCS from my perspective is the Engineering Support. the original concept of base support periods using contractors has rightly been identified as a major issue. It would have been a cash cow for defence contractors who would fly in to the operating base area to do things such as change an air filter.That has now changed but it still requires work. The variant which will eventually arrive in the Gulf will provide a step change in capability when compared to the existing 5 fleet vessels. However it again comes down to engineering support ca[abilities. The propulsion system is… Read more »


Just read the latest report for the Pentagon from the Inspector General and the report states that no more LCS should be built or commissioned and the ones in service should be disposed of as they are not fit for the purpose they where designed for. The navy definitely does not want them only congress wanted them . $30 billion for 35 ships , non of which have ever been deployed . 16 have been commissioned 6 are used as training ships 4 are test ships leaving 6 available to deploy . 19 are building and can’t be cancelled due… Read more »


In 2017 they launched one ( Little Rock) that had to transit from the Ship Yard in the mid west through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic before sailing to its home port in Florida. Unfortunately it had issues and stopped in Montreal for repairs.In Montreal it got iced in and was stuck there for 3 months .


Was that Kent Brockman interviewing him.

Nick Bowman

I think it might be a good idea to work on equipping Merlin with Spear 3. The helo could fly a couple of hundred km and then release 6 or 8 of them. The missiles would fly the last 80 km under their own power. Hey presto – 280 km swarm anti-ship capability.

Mike Saul

RBS15 looks as if it has zero stealth characteristics, therefore will be detected and defeated.
The NSM on the other hand looks as if it does but a smaller warhead.
My opinion is the NSM would prove to be a better option, but given the current state of RN anything would be better than nothing.


Both missiles can attack land targets as well a shipping. However, there are two fundamental differences between the missiles. The RBS-15 should be compared to the current Harpoon and Exocet, it is designed to kill ships like frigates and destroyers. The NSM/JSM due to its smaller size is not. The RBS15 is radar guided, it can operate in the passive RF seeker mode, but is primarily designed to use its radar actively to search for and track targets. This makes it more detectable when using electronic surveillance from either the ship or its aircraft. It also makes it more susceptible… Read more »