June 21 (UPI) -- Raytheon and Kongsberg Gruppen are to offer their Naval Strike Missile to the U.S. Navy's for use on littoral combat ships and future frigates.
The offering for the Navy's Over-the-Horizon program will be made prior to the June 23 deadline, Raytheon announced on Wednesday.
The NSM is a long-range, precision missile for use against heavily defended land and sea targets. Raytheon says the missile, originally produced by its Norwegian partner, has demonstrated unmatched ability to penetrate enemy defense systems.
"NSM is the only missile of its class that is ready today to add critical, long-range firepower to naval ships," Mike Jarrett, vice president of Raytheon Air Warfare Systems, said in a press release. "NSM is proven technology that will create new jobs in America and save the United States billions of dollars in development costs."
Raytheon will produce NSM launchers, missiles and components in the United States.
"NSM is the main weapon for Norway's new frigates and coastal corvettes, and gives today's ships the firepower they need to defeat evolving threats," said Pål Bratlie, Kongsberg executive vice president. "The missile will help fulfill the U.S. Navy's vision of ensuring freedom of access to seas around the world."
Last month, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing withdrew from the U.S. Navy competition.
"After long and careful consideration, Lockheed Martin has decided to withdraw from the U.S. Navy Over-the-Horizon Weapon System competition," Lockheed said at the time. "As the current OTH-WS request for proposal process refined over time, it became clear that our offering would not be fully valued,"
Boeing had plans to develop variants of its Harpoon missile for the Navy's need but said it backed out over dissatisfaction that Navy requirements would lead to a less capable missile than the Harpoon now produced.
"We've really taken a hard look at what the requirements are that Naval Sea System Command has looked for in the request," Troy Rutherford, director of Boeing Cruise Missile Systems, said when the company made its announcement. "We've kept up to speed on every [request for proposal] modification and with that the constant change in the top-level requirements every time they do a modified release.
"We don't see that this solicitation isn't the right place for us to make entrée into the surface Navy because of how it undervalues our overall capability," Rutherford added.