US Navy USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) Successfully Launches Naval Strike Missile (NSM)
US Navy USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) Successfully Launches Naval Strike Missile (NSM)

US Navy USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) Successfully Launches Naval Strike Missile (NSM)

The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) successfully launched the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as part of shipboard operational testing and evaluation, March 19. The Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that flies at sea-skimming altitude, has terrain-following capability and uses an advanced seeker for precise targeting. The successful missile shoot demonstrates value for long-range anti-ship cruise missiles aboard LCS. With mission packages allowing for tailored capabilities to meet specific mission needs and unique physical characteristics, LCS provides operational flexibility to combatant commanders.

Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launches a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise Pacific Griffin on 2 October 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/Released)

“The recent missile launches were a great accomplishment for Gabrielle Giffords and the LCS community,” said Cmdr. Michael Piano, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords’ Blue Crew. “I am especially proud of Gabrielle Giffords Blue and grateful for Surface Division Eleven’s support to score this win for our Navy.”

“It was an honor to successfully demonstrate our platform’s over-the-horizon lethality and I look forward to the capabilities NSM provides to the fleet,” said Chief Fire Controlman Jason Kloes, lead NSM operator of Gabrielle Giffords’ Blue Crew.

The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) launches a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) during exercise “Pacific Griffin” on 2 October 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago)

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) is named after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot along with eighteen other people during a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona. The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 23 December 2016, and commissioned the following spring on 10 June 2017, in Galveston, Texas. She has been assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. The Independence-class carries a default armament for self-defense, and command and control. Unlike traditional fighting ships with fixed armament such as guns and missiles, tailored mission modules can be configured for one mission package at a time.

The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) transits the Philippine Sea during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2019 on 1 October 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josiah J. Kunkle)

The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) is an anti-ship and land-attack missile developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA). On 31 May 2018, the Navy officially selected the NSM to serve as the Littoral Combat Ship Over-the-Horizon Weapon (OTH) anti-ship weapon. The NSM will be designated as the RGM-184A in US service. In October 2019 the USS Gabrielle Giffords fired off a Naval Strike Missile at a surplus US Navy frigate, USS Ford (FFG-54), which was towed close to Guam, in the Pacific, to act as a target in an exercise called SINKEX.

Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launches a Naval Strike Missile as part of shipboard operational testing and evaluationon 18 March 2021. (Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Photo)