Kongsberg has secured New Zealand as a customer for its Penguin anti-ship missile and agreed to a deal with the Norwegian government to provide stop-gap funding on its Joint Strike Missile (JSM) program while parliamentary approval is awaited to complete development of the weapon.
The missile deals were among four announcements made by Norway’s top contractor over the last few days.
The company said it has also signed a framework agreement with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) to support and maintain systems it has supplied to the Norwegian Navy and is progressing efforts to integrate the JSM on Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter.
The New Zealand Defence Force has purchased a small number of Penguin Mk2 Mod 7 anti-ship missiles and associated equipment to equip new Kaman SH-2G (I) Super Seasprite helicopters acquired by the Navy.
New Zealand has purchased eight SH-2G(I)’s from a batch of machines originally purchased by Australia before the deal was canceled. The Penguins are thought to have come from the same original customer.
“This contract strongly confirms the Penguin missile’s position as the leading missile within its segment. The contract is for a limited number of missiles, however it is considered an important upgrade of New Zealand’s Navy,” said Pal Bratlie, the executive vice president at Kongsberg Defence Systems.
No contract value was given.
Kongsberg has also signed a NOK 480 million ($78 million) deal with the NDLO to continue work on the JSM ahead of the Norwegian Parliament’s expected approval of the final phase of development of the weapon.
An earlier version of the weapon, known as the Naval Strike Missile, has already been acquired by Norway and Poland for maritime and coastal defense roles.
The new JSM weapon is being developed principally, but not exclusively, for the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter for anti-surface and naval fire support missions.
Norway has already committed to buying the F-35 and is looking to equip the fighter with the new long-range weapon, which can be carried internally in the bomb bay or externally.
Walter Qvam, Kongsberg’s CEO, said the international F-35 user consortium is showing great interest in the missile.
Phase 2 development is complete and Kongsberg said in a statement that to “ensure competence and progress between phase 2 and phase 3 the Norwegian Armed Forces have signed a bridging phase contract prior to Parliamentary proceedings and approval of the entire JSM development phase 3.”
Work in phase 2 included detailed design and early integration work on the F-35 as well as the F/A-18 and the F-16.
Kongsberg said it had recently completed a fit-check of the JSM on the external pylons of an F/A-18F at Boeing’s St. Louis facility.
In its most recent announcement, Kongsberg said Dec 3 that it had secured a NOK 165 million deal with the Norwegian Navy to support, maintain and further develop systems it had supplied, including Nansen-class frigates, Ula-class submarines and various training centers.
Missiles, sonar systems, command and control, and navigation equipment are all included in the six-year contract.http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131204/DEFREG03/312040018/New-Zealand-Buy-Penguin-Funding-Provided-Joint-Strike-Missile?odyssey=mod_sectionstories