The Naval Strike Missile eludes enemy radar and defense systems by performing evasive maneuvers and flying at sea-skimming altitude. NSM uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting and carries a 500-pound class warhead with a programmable fuze.
In 2018, the Navy selected the Naval Strike Missile for its over-the-horizon defense of littoral combat ships and future frigates. The USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launched NSM in 2019 during Pacific Griffin, a biennial exercise conducted near Guam.
NSM is also suited for land attack missions because it can climb and descend with the terrain. It was successfully tested in a land-based mobile launcher configuration in 2018 as part of a multination military exercise.
In 2019, the U.S. Marine Corps integrated a land-based Naval Strike Missile into its force structure, sharing costs and interoperability with the Navy.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense has teamed with the Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Defence Aerospace to bring the fifth-generation missile stateside. The company builds launchers for the Naval Strike Missile in the United States, and is using its extensive supply base to build the missile and other components in the U.S. as well.