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Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace signed a contract with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) on 5 July 2024 for the initial development phase of the new German-Norwegian Supersonic Strike Missile (3SM) system. The contract value for the first development phase is up to NOK 1.5 billion (EUR 0.13 billion).

The 3SM is a next-generation missile system set to be deployed on future vessels from 2035. Kongsberg has been awarded the contract as the industry leader and partner, with significant involvement from German and Norwegian subcontractors. Kongsberg, Diehl Defence and MBDA Deutschland have formed a partnership to carry out the development of the weapon. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and Nammo will also contribute to the project.

“The 3SM missile project demonstrates how cross-border and industrial collaboration contributes to strengthening the defence capabilities of Norway, Germany and allied countries,” Eirik Lie, President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “Close cooperation between industry, authorities, and research institutions forms the foundation for innovation and new workplaces, while we maintain our position as a world-leading missile manufacturer.”

“Norway has a long history of developing advanced missile systems, and it is important that we maintain and further develop the existing expertise and position that Norway holds within missile technology,” added Gro Jære, director of the NDMA. “Establishing Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace as a new contract partner and industry leader is a crucial step in developing a powerful new weapon system for engaging maritime targets. Kongsberg has extensive and significant experience in this field.”

The new supersonic missile is a collaborative German-Norwegian development project, where Norway is the leading nation. The anti-ship missile will help safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity by enhancing the German Norwegian navies’ deterrence capabilities and improving their ability to engage long-range targets. As well as being deployed on Norwegian and German naval vessels, the 3SM is being designed for potential use by other NATO countries and close allies.

When Kongsberg and Norway developed the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) in the 2000s, it was subsequently adopted by 13 countries, including Norway, Germany, and the United States. When the 3SM is deployed in the mid-2030s, it will serve as a complement to the NSM.