Raytheon, Kongsberg Team Up For Anti-Ship Missile

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    Kongsberg is developing the Joint Strike Missile for use with Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to attack ships and land targets from great distance. Under the deal being announced today at the Farnborough air show, Raytheon will build the missile for the U.S. if the Pentagon becomes a buyer, said Taylor Lawrence, the head of the Raytheon's missile unit.

    "The U.S. Navy is very interested," Mr. Lawrence said in an interview.

    The Pentagon's shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific region, where control of sea routes is deemed more critical than the army centered battlefields of Europe and Afghanistan, has increased demand for high-end maritime weapons systems. High Chinese military spending has helped increase demand among the U.S. military for more sophisticated equipment.

    The Norwegian government has been funding the development of the Joint Strike Missile, which will have a range exceeding 150 nautical miles and is designed to be difficult to spot by radar. The F-35 fighter would carry the missile in its internal weapons bay to avoid radar detection.

    Norway has pushed the U.S. to make sure the weapon can be integrated for the F-35 jet. The country has been one of the strongest international supporters of the plane that has seen some foreign partners waiver due to the cost of the aircraft.

    The partnership comes only weeks after the Pentagon awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for a new long-range, anti-ship missile called Lrasm. The weapon is being derived from a cruise missile the company has developed for the U.S. Air Force.

    Raytheon and Kongbserg has an existing relationship and has sold air defense systems to countries such as Spain, Finland and the Netherlands.

    The push comes as Raytheon faces the prospect of ending production of its long-running and well known Tomahawk cruise missile. The U.S. Navy has threatened to end building the weapon, though Raytheon and some lawmakers are trying to overturn that move.

    Mr. Lawrence said keeping the line open is important for international buyers. The U.K., the only other buyer, may need more Tomahawk's and Raytheon is still working on other export possibilities, including Japan and Australia. Sales of the Tomahawk require special U.S. government approvals because of global agreements to limit the export of such long-range missiles.


    http://online.wsj.com/articles/raytheon-kongsberg-team-up-for-anti-ship-missile-1405415132