Kongsberg Secures Major Contract to Supply Joint Strike Missiles to US Air Force

Kongsberg Secures Major Contract to Supply Joint Strike Missiles to US Air Force

On June 3, 2024, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace announced it had finalized an undefinitized contract action (UCA) with the United States Air Force (USAF) to deliver Joint Strike Missiles (JSM) for their F-35A aircraft. The contract is capped at $141 million and will see initial deliveries starting in 2026.

The JSM is an air-to-ground strike missile designed to fit into the internal weapons bay of the F-35A and is specifically tailored for anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and land attack missions. It primarily targets highly protected and high-value assets at sea, in coastal waters, or on land.

Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, commented on the contract, “We are very pleased that the USAF, the principal operator of the F-35A Lightning II, has chosen the JSM to enhance the offensive capabilities of their aircraft.” He added, “The selection of JSM by both the USAF and the Royal Norwegian Air Force strongly supports NATO’s vision for equipment interchangeability among allied nations.”

The development of the JSM was overseen by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA), highlighting Norway’s role in advancing defense technologies. The missile is equipped with flexible mission planning capabilities, which allow for the engagement of targets according to a predefined set of Rules of Engagement.

Listed on the OSE under the ticker KOG, Kongsberg is an international company specializing in high-technology systems for the defense, security, maritime, energy, aerospace, climate mapping, and subsea technology sectors. Employing over 13,500 people across 39 countries, Kongsberg generated a total turnover of 40.6 billion NOK in 2023, affirming its commitment to innovation and international cooperation.

The development of the JSM KR at Kongsberg began 20 years ago, as an adapted version of the NSM (Naval Strike Missile) class “ship-to-surface” for the F-35. Tellingly, four years remained before the first flight of the F-35. Currently, the project is being carried out by the Norwegian-American consortium Raytheon-Kongsberg, and JSM is the only type of long-range air-to-surface weapon that can be placed in the internal weapons bay of the F-35A/C with a launch weight of 416 kg, length 4.0 m, width with folded / open wings 0.48 / 1.35 m.

At the same time, the missile is made using low visibility technologies, and an intelligent dual-band optoelectronic guidance system with target image storage, an inertial satellite correction unit, a weather sensor, a laser altimeter allow hitting ground and sea targets with high accuracy at ranges up to 200 km along a low-altitude flight profile and up to 550 km combined. It is possible to correct the route and retarget the missile in flight from the carrier via a closed two-way data transmission channel in the Link 16 radio network. The armor-piercing high-explosive warhead weighing 226 kg consists of a 120-kg titanium case with a 100-kg explosive charge and a programmable fuse.

Share This