FARNBOROUGH: In a clear effort to defang critics who might slam their product as — gasp — foreign, Raytheon and the Norwegian defense firm Kongsberg told reporters here they will build a production line in Tuscon, Ariz. to build advanced missiles for the U.S. Navy.
The first missile to get built should be the Naval Strike Missile, but the plant should be able to handle the closely-related Joint Strike Missile, built for the F-35 A and C fleets. Kongsberg and Raytheon are eagerly targeting the US market for both missiles. The JSM is the first missile designed with the F-35 in mind and Norway has spent $1 billion putting it through research, development, test and evaluation.
The two companies will “assemble, integrate and test” the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and build its launchers in the United States. The NSM can be packed into a standard shipping container and placed aboard a wide array of ships, noted Thomas Copeman, a top man in Raytheon Missile Systems and former commander of Surface Naval Forces for the U.S. Navy. This is clearly intended to take advantage of the Navy’s focus on what it calls Distributed Lethality, a push to arm virtually all naval vessels.