The Marine Corps is getting a new long-range missile to take out enemy ships

Military Tech
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Aviation & Missile Center facilitated the first land-based launch of Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile during RIMPAC 2018 (AMRDEC WDI/David Hogan)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- The Marine Corps is dropping nearly $48 million on Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as it moves toward a series of experiments involving striking enemy ships and maritime targets from land.

Raytheon announced this week during the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, D.C., that it will provide the NSM to the Marine Corps under a $47.59 million Other Transaction Authority agreement, a Pentagon spending category for experimentation and prototyping.


The deal follows a 2018 Navy contract with Raytheon to manufacture and deliver the NSM as the over-the-horizon missile system for the service's littoral combat ships and the frigates that will succeed them.

"The Marine Corps' selection of the Navy's anti-ship missile enhances joint interoperability and reduces costs and logistical burdens," Raytheon said in a statement.

Developed by Norway's Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, the NSM features a 275-pound, high-explosive warhead and has an operational range of more than 100 nautical miles. In a high-profile experiment during the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercise, U.S. Army Pacific fired an NSM from a Palletized Load System truck to hit a decommissioned ship off the coast of Hawaii.

A spokesman for Marine Corps Systems Command, Manny Pacheco, said the service plans to integrate the missile onto land-based vehicles over the next few years.

"What the [Other Transaction Authority] is going to allow us to do is take that capability, put it on certain vehicle platforms to see what it can do," Pacheco said. "[The Marine Corps wants] to do a variety of test demonstrations on the capability."

Army personnel fire off Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile during RIMPAC 2018 (AMRDEC WDI/David Hogan)

Breaking Defense reported in January that the Marine Corps was moving forward fast with plans to develop a land-based, ship-sinking missile capability, as part of an effort called Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, or NMSIS. The outlet reported at the time that the Corps was considering NSM, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile and Boeing's Harpoon for the development program.

It added that the service is considering three different vehicles as a missile launch platform, including the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System; the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement, or 7-ton, truck; and the Logistic Vehicle System Replacement.

Pacheco indicated that a vehicle platform had not yet been selected, and specifics of timeline and experimentation moving forward would hinge, to some extent, on that decision.

Under Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, the Corps has become more aggressive in experimentation and pursuit of capabilities that can be integrated into existing platforms.

In 2017, Marine Maj. Gen. David Coffman, the Navy's director of Expeditionary Warfare, told Military.com that the Corps wanted a truck-mounted rocket system compact enough to fit in an MV-22 Osprey. The same year, the Marines fired HIMARS from the back of an amphibious ship, obliterating a land target 43 miles away.

In February, Neller told USNI News the Marine Corps wanted a long-range anti-ship missile as fast as possible to support the Navy from the land in sea-control efforts.

"There's a ground component to the maritime fight. We're a naval force in a naval campaign; you have to help the ships control sea space. And you can do that from the land," he told the outlet.

Randy Kempton, Raytheon's NSM program director, told Military.com at Sea-Air-Space that the Marine Corps' selection of NSM is a big deal for the company.

"A year ago, we were at this show and we weren't quite sure where the Navy was going with NSM. We didn't have a big contract," he said. "Fast-forward a year, and the Navy's got us under contract for a program of record, and in about a year's timeframe, we're already integrating into another service. So from our perspective, it's a big deal. It's gaining momentum."

This article originally appeared on Military.com

More articles from Military.com:

SEE ALSO: The Pentagon Wants A Buttload Of Guided Rockets To Slap Russia And China From Hundreds Of Miles Away

WATCH NEXT: Marines Fire HIMARS From The USS Anchorage


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.

After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.

But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.

Read More Show Less

That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.

After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.

Read More Show Less

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.

"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."

Read More Show Less
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.

Read More Show Less

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.

Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.

Read More Show Less