Poland to Make a Massive Purchase of Coastal NSM Missiles [EXCLUSIVE]

NSM anti-ship missile launcher.
Photo. Jarosław Ciślak

The Polish Ministry of Defence has made a decision and is finalizing talks on the procurement of a large number of coastal missile systems for the Polish Navy, utilizing the NSM missile as the effector, found out via unofficial channels.

As found out, off the record, a decision was made to procure further systems for the NDR unit (Coastal Missile Squadron), of the Polish Navy. The equipment would be received by the MJR (Naval Missile Unit), significantly expanding its combat capabilities. The deal is valued at an estimated PLN 3 bn. The talks on that matter, meanwhile, are in their final stages.

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The Kongsberg NSM missiles (Naval Strike Missile), constitute the key ordnance of the Coastal Missile Squadron. The NSM missile is guided by a combined INS/GPS guidance system, coupled with a thermal imaging sensor used in the terminal phase of the engagement. These effectors offer a range of approximately 200 kilometers, while the guidance system allows the user to select the hit point that would ensure the highest degree of lethality against the enemy warship. The NSM is also capable of attacking ground targets.

The missile weighs a little more than 400 kilograms, and it has a length of little less than 4 meters. The missile design is a stealthy, low-RCS one. This makes it tough to intercept for missile defence systems. Kongsberg is also working on an extended-range variant of this system. Based on the land-naval variant of the effector, JSM air-to-surface missile has been developed, with the F-16, or the F-35 platforms in mind.

The Coastal Missile Squadron also includes C2 systems, developed with major contributions to the Polish defence industry. All elements of the system, both the launchers, as well as a myriad of support vehicles, are based on the Jelcz trucks. The NDR also includes PIT-RADWAR TRS-15N radars. But the system may also receive targeting data from external sources. To process the targeting data, the system's C2 suite is used.

Currently, the Polish Navy operates two NDR (Coastal Missile Squadron) systems. One was procured in 2008, and the deliveries began in 2012. The second system was procured in 2014 (for PLN 800 million) and handed off to the military in 2017. Those systems are operated by the Naval Missile Unit, established in 2015, and based on the pre-existing squadron. Both contracts also entailed a transfer of technology for the Polish industry, regarding the maintenance of the NDR system elements, or the NSM effectors (that task has been assigned to the WZE facility based in Zielonka), and a transfer of know-how and expertise tied to establishment and integration of command and datalink systems. The NDR system elements were being used during allied exercises, held in Estonia, or Romania.

The NSM missiles are becoming broadly proliferated among the NATO user base. Alongside Poland, the missile is used by Norway (ship-borne variant), Romania (ground-based launchers), and the US (LCS warships in Navy, and USMC land-based launchers). The UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany also decided to procure the NSM missiles for their warships.

cooperation: Jakub Palowski