Hellenic Navy may buy Kongsberg defence systems
The Hellenic Navy is considering the purchase of two Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) coastal defence batteries before 2020
The Norwegian system was presented to the Navy at the beginning of the year by the representatives of Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace AS.
In January, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence sent a representative to Athens as part of the government’s support for Kongsberg’s campaign to win the Greek contract. The company has been trying to sell the NSM system to Greece since 2014.
The total cost of the programme is estimated to be 100-120 million euros and the two new batteries will replace or supplement the two existing Exocet MM-40 Block II coastal defence missile batteries bought from France in 1992 and 1993, respectively.
The French missile has a range of 4km to 70km, and uses an INS/GPS system as initial guidance and an active radar homing system at the final phase.
NSM, a fifth-generation long-range precision strike missile, offers a longer range of up to 200km and a more effective guidance system. It uses a passive dual-band Intelligent Imaging Infra-Red seeker at the final phase of flight that can detect and discriminate targets.
The missile is equipped with an in-flight data link system and an Autonomous Target Recognition system that ensures accurate detection and striking of sea or land-based targets.
The Norwegian missile can cruise a few metres above sea surface (sea skimming ability), has a low observable shape with low radar cross-section, can perform high-G manoeuvres and can be programmed with multiple pre-designated waypoints before hitting a target. The land attack capability of the NSM missile is primarily based on use of military GPS.
At 3.96m, the missile weighs in at 407kg and can reach high-subsonic speed of Mach 0.95. It is propelled by a solid fuel rocket booster and Microturbo MRI-40 turbojet and carries a 125kg high-explosive blast-fragmentation warhead.
A typical NSM coastal defence system battery consists of one fire distribution centre, providing a battery command vehicle with a battle management command control communication computers and information system; one mobile communication centre that offers the necessary control and management of all internal and external data and voice communication (SATCOM, HCLOS, IP/HF/VHF radios, fibre cable connections, Link 16, Link 11A & Link 11B); three combat command centres; three missile launch vehicles, each one of them carrying four missiles capable of being launched within seconds against different targets; one (optional) sea surveillance and tracking radar; one transport/loading vehicle; and one mobile workshop vehicle.
The platform has already been employed by the Polish Navy, which ordered two squadrons of two batteries each (four in total) in 2008 and 2014.
If the Hellenic Navy eventually decides to buy the Norwegian missile system, each battery could include three missile launch vehicles.
Like the Exocet, the two NSM batteries will be deployed on islands in the Aegean Sea and will be connected to the integrated surveillance system operated by the Hellenic Navy across the Archipelago.