What Happened to the NSM?

NMESIS – USMC’s unmanned coastal anti-ship missile system. Picture used for illustration only. US Dept of Defence.

SHAH ALAM: What happened to the NSM? On April 5, the Australian government announced the acquisition of AUS$3.5 billion (RM11 billion) worth of missiles and mines for its Defence Force (ADF). The weapons are the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) for the Royal Australian Air Force; the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) for the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet; and Maritime mines to secure Australia’s ports and maritime approaches.

According to the release issued by the Australian Defence Ministry:

Acquisition of the Kongsberg NSM to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile in the ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers provides a significant enhancement to Australia’s maritime strike capability – more than doubling the current maritime strike range of our frigates and destroyers. Commencing in 2024, ANZAC Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers will have the NSM capability installed.

The combination of NSM and previously announced Tomahawk Cruise Missiles is the best mix of capability to meet Australia’s needs and is proven in service with our key alliance partner, the United States

A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California. The missile scored a direct hit on a mobile ship target. US Navy

What this got this with us then? Not much really but it must be noted that Malaysia was supposed to be the first user of the NSM in Southeast Asia as we bought a bunch of the Norwegian maritime strike missiles back in 2018. In fact, the deal for the NSM was secured back in 2015 as Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) had contracted Kongsberg for the launchers and associated equipment for the LCS. The contract in 2018 was for the missiles themselves and it was between the government and Kongsberg due to export controls.
Live firing with NSM missile from corvette HNoMS Gnist outside Andøya in Northern-Norway.

At the recent DSA 2022, it was announced that Kongsberg had signed the contract in relation to the Industrial Colloboration Programme (ICP) under the procurement of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM)as surface to surface missile for the Royal Malaysian Navy. The contract is listed at RM583 million which probably translated into 60 NSM missiles. As each LCS was supposed to carry eight missiles, it is probably we will have about 12 missiles as reserves or could be used on other ships like the LMS Batch II.
US Marines prepare an NSM launcher for a test. US Dept of Defence.

So have Kongsberg delivered the NSM then? Likely as the missiles contract was signed five years ago though there is no official confirmation. If it was delivered it is likely being kept the Lumut naval base armoury as it is the only place to keep live missiles. And close enough so it can be readily delivered to the RMN for testing purpose when the LCS and LMS Batch II are ready. Whenever that is, of course. I have no idea if the RMN intends to turn some of the NSM into ground launchers. It is possible of course but will need money, the main thing that we lacked. The lack of money may also kill any idea of putting the NSM on current RMN ships like the Lekiu, Kasturi and Kedah classes. Of course stranger things has happened before so I stand to be corrected, of course.

— Malaysian Defence


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  1. Interesting, back in 2018 we bought around 90 NSM, so does this 60 or so NSM is additional to the 90 we supposedly had bought? Or the 60 is it the first batch of 90 NSM?

  2. If we do decide to any existing ship with it the company selected to perform integration will be happy as it will involve a lot of work. Various OEMs also have to paid for their cooperation and certification.

  3. Not just this NSM, if I’m not mistaken Sylver VLS also already in Lumut right now.

  4. Not just this NSM, if I’m not mistaken Sylver VLS also already in Lumut right now.

  5. Its not that we lack money. We tend to procure things at very expensive prices.

  6. Am more interested in what kind of SAM the LCS & LMS2 would eventually be fitted with.

    Also Wonder if navy would get a missile commonalities with her sister services as If not mistaken H20 mentioned that there’s would be 2 kind of GBAD, Shorts range for TD & medium range for the AF.

  7. No lah, we only bought one batch, the number of missiles were never announced. I am just speculating the numbers based on the US dollars price per NSM as bought by the US.

  8. Here we go again with the freaking FFBNW. Whats the point really?

    The problem is not just the lack of moeny. On hindsight our budget is similar to PHIL. More like lack of political will and marking up prices for the cronies that in turn do election donation and whateva.

  9. “Maritime mines to secure Australia’s ports and maritime approaches”

    Another item that we need to increase our stocks too.

    One is the conventional moored mines. There are some brand new advanced mine designs from Sweden and Finland that we can look into.

    another is a special fuse that will convert normal fighter jet bombs into sea mines. When converted, the bombs are called qucikstrike. We should stock on these fuses so we can convert our bombs into mines.

  10. 5Zaft,

    GAPU has a requirement for a V-SHORADs to replace Anza and maybe FN-6. It also has an longstanding requirement for a SHORADs. The RMAF too has a
    longstanding requirement for a SHORADs but this is unlikely to be realised anytime soon. Ideally the army and the RMAF should have a common SHORADs.

  11. The key issue with mines – ether land or sea – is they have to.be secured or defended; failure to do that means they can be swept without disruption.

    A country which is investing in “smart” mines is China; imagine the tech for smart phones being used on mines. “SMART” mines can be RAP, enclosed in a ceramic casing to make detection harder, programmed to activate upon detecting a specific acoustic signature; etc.

    Mines are also widely available from various Western countries [Italy a traditional exporter] but non.NATO customers normally get mines with downgraded fuzes.

  12. Anyone who wants to know why we are forced into building armoured vehicles, ships, etc and having local players to ‘managed’ hermetically sealed missiles should take a good understanding on this insidious agenda called ICP as spelled out by Marhalim. Its agenda pervades not only thru the defence industry but whatever purchasing decision by the Government (such as why PDRM went for Honda Civic and not Toyota Corolla).

  13. Azlan

    Just for context shorad range is something like Spyder/camm/nasam while merad range is something like aster 30, SM2, patriot right?


    ICP is the reason I’m asking for the LCS. Whether or not the MICA still stay or be replaced since Ideally we should use the same missile family for all the 3 branches.

    The problem is not just the lack of moeny. On hindsight our budget is similar to PHIL. More like lack of political will and marking up prices for the cronies that in turn do election donation and whateva.

    Most likely because PH like ID is still doing ATM old way of doing things, get a lot of everything but not enough of anything which create a huge logistical supply chain & inability to create ‘joiness’ but every single agent, politicians, foreign supplies get a piece of a pie.

    ATM desire to reduce logistical footprint & gov policy to achieve it through ICP & localizations create a games of thrones style high stake zero sum games where winner get all, loser get none.

    and due to economic of scale & jobs creation ATM are unlikely in the future change suppliers which not only ensure future sales but in geopolitical terms allows the supplying country a considerable influence in shaping MY behavior due to military & economic integration.

  14. 5Zaft – ATM desire to reduce logistical footprint & gov policy to achieve it through ICP & localizations create a games of thrones style high stake zero”

    To put in simple terms; a former PN decided that we were unlikely to be in a major conflict; thus all major purchases should be based on the level of bilateral relationship with the country we are buying from and how purchases would benefit the country in the form of increased bilateral trade; ToTs, offsets and job creation; in various fields.

    That was the priority not cost effectiveness or commonality. If NASA had offered to train an astronaut we’d probably have bought Super Hornets and if Russia was not willing to accept palm oil as part payment and set up ATSC; this together with hopes that arms purchases would be a catalyst for increased trade with the Russian Federation in the post Cold War period; we’d never have bought Fulcrums.

    A V-SHORADs would be the likes of Stinger, RNS-70, Igla, etc. A SHORADS would be something with more legs like Mica, Sypder, etc, considered point defence systems. Stuff like S-300 and Patriot are long range high altitude systems.

  15. SHORAD
    – Spyder python 20km
    – CAMM 25km
    – VL MICA original 20km

    – Spyder derby 50km
    – NASAMS AMRAAM 30km
    – ESSM 40km
    – CAMM ER 45km
    – VL MICA NG 40km
    – Aster 15 30km

    long range
    – aster 30 120km
    – patriot PAC-1 90km
    – patriot PAC-2 160km

    For the LCS Gowind basically all the systems for the VL MICA already bought except for the missile itself. Egypt is the first country to use VL MICA NG on its gowind. The new missile is plug and play backwards compatible with existing VL MICA systems.

  16. Alex – Because we should”

    Many things we should do…

    On land based ASMs getting the hardware is the easy part. Acquiring the ability to detect and engage targets at certain ranges requires other assets for OTHT; integration is also needed.

  17. @5Zaft
    As I understand, the MICA system have been baked into the LCS FCS so regardless its gonna be MICA. The good thing is, since we haven’t bought the missiles we could upgrade to MICA-ER which nearly doubles the range of old MICA and virtually drop-in compatible with current launchers.

    As for ICP, this is the reason we are willing to spend up to 100% more for something just to see 20-30% return back thru local industries. With ICP, it is easier to justify spending 200% and getting 50% back than just spending 100% without the local involvements. Basically the Govt is okay to spend more, to create artificial jobs, in order to justify the act of spending itself. The cost of expenditure plays lesser role as nobody can really say if its overpriced or not since many factors comes into play. Even Nobita tried to play up the cost of LCS back then but even he could not make it stick as he got nothing to compared with apples to apples, since most other nations defence projects are also fuzzy on details of costing.

  18. Today TV3 went full retard and publish the fake news on Ukraine as the truth.

    The latest train station attack in Kramatorsk is reported as an attack done by Ukraine themselves.

    Something even the UN has publicly denounced as a Russian attack.

    Clearly many malaysians cannot and don’t know how to take all available information and create a conclusion of what is the truth and what is false.

  19. gonggok – ”Clearly many malaysians cannot and don’t know ”

    Many people from all around the world too; of various races, creeds, backgrounds and political leanings. Like how various Malaysians; instead of doing some prior objective research make preposterous claims on the MAF ….

  20. Gonggok,

    I am also inclined to believe the train station attack was done by the Russians. But (I am playing the devil’s advocate here) can we be absolute sure it was not a targeting error by the Ukrainians themselves? IMHO, its best not to assign blame until an independent investigation is done. The fog of war…

    That being said, Bucha does appear to be a real to me. There are multiple eyewitnesses than can attest to that, in my opinion.

    While the war in Ukraine is sad (nobody deserves this), it is indeed heartening to see the democratic world’s united response. I am sure China will now think long and hard before an invasion of Taiwan, if that’s its long term goal.

  21. If our ships can’t make use of the NSMs, a NMESIS system looks great for us especially to beef up defences in contested reefs.

  22. Tom Tom – ”t was not a targeting error by the Ukrainians”

    A Ukrainian launched Tochka would have been heading east, south east or north east towards enemy positions and would not have landed where it did… Reports have indicated it came from the south east; separatists positions in the Donbass.

    What is puzzling is the ”For children’ inscription. Most have speculated it was written by deranged murderous Russians but someone in another forum mentioned to me the possibility that ”For children” was in reference to children in the Donbass being killed by a Ukrainian attack. Another says it came from the south west; Ukrainian controlled.


    Lot of things look great on paper. As mentioned earlier we need the key enablers to successfully operate a land based ASM and don’t need ”to beef up defences in contested reefs” per see but on the periphery and in other forms.

    Land based ASMs can fly further than the range of their radar; we need to create deconfliction zones; need to operate them in parallel with other assets and need the ability to detect, ID and track targets at certain ranges for them to be hit. The USMAC can get a certain level of efficacy out of NMESIS because it has the key enablers in place in the form of a comprehensive integrated kill chain.

  23. joe
    As I understand, the MICA system have been baked into the LCS FCS

    im under the impression that UAE had paid for the system integration between setis & ESSM?

    am not saying that raytheon stuff are better. am saying it would be better to buy a single family of missiles & SAM system for all the 3 services.

  24. @gonggok
    In war, truth is the first casualty. – Aeschylus (Greek tragic dramatist)

  25. 5Zaft – would be better to buy a single family of missiles & SAM system for all the 3 services”

    Naturally it would but political interference and slightly different requirements on the part of individual bed users can be a factor.

    On the ESSM it was selected by the RMN for the Lekiu Batch 2s.

  26. Tom Tom – ”I am also inclined to believe the train station attack was done by the Russians.”

    There is bad targeting and intentional targeting. Were the Russians intentionally trying to hit civilians; were they aiming at that particular target because they thought the Ukrainian military was there or trying to kill civilians per see? We don’t know but we do know that at times the Russians intentionally hit civilian targets because they believe it has been occupied by the Ukrainian military; remember the footage of the Ukrainian S-300 that was hit in a civilian building?

    Footage is great to watch and tells us a lot of things but can also lead to an incomplete of skewered narrative; especially with creative editing. An ambush which didn’t go as planned can be made to look as successful and a MBT hit by a ATGW gives the message iyt was destroyed but after the footage end it could have driven away.

    Tom Tom – ”I am sure China will now think long and hard before an invasion of Taiwan, ”
    I has always thought ”long and hard” [it has a a straits to cross and has to factor in American intervention] and that’s why it still is hoping for eventual peaceful reunification. China’s leadership won’t be as irrational as Russia’s and they have a better understanding of what the PLA can or can’t achieve. If the PL:A goes into action it won’t go in handicapped and hold back some of it’s capabilities because of flawed assumptions on the part of the political leadership; as was the case with Russia,

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