Norway and Germany have announced that they are jointly developing the new supersonic 3SM Tyrfing anti-ship missile, intended to succeed the Kongsberg NSM from 2035. This is, undoubtedly, a response from Oslo and Berlin to the recent resurrection of the Franco-British FMC/FMAN program, reinforced last June by the arrival of Italy.
The recent commercial successes of Kongsberg's NSM missile against the French Exocet
With the Exocet missile family, France has long been the undisputed European leader in the field of anti-ship missiles, and the only major competitor to the famous American Harpoon. Thus, the different versions of the French missile developed at the end of the 70s by Aérospatiale, still equip more than 35 naval forces around the world, and have demonstrated its effectiveness during several conflicts, from the Falklands to the Iran-Iraq war.
In recent years, however, several competitors have appeared, quickly eating into the market share of an exocet struggling to renew itself. One of the most serious of them is the Naval Strike Missile, developed by the Norwegian Kongsberg.
Entering service in 2012 on Norwegian frigates, the missile was notably selected by the US Navy to reinforce the armament of its Littoral Combat Ships, and to arm future Constellation class frigates. It has since been retained by seven other navies, five of which belong to NATO (Germany, Australia, Canada, Spain, Malaysia, Poland and Romania).
The FMC/FMAN program which brings together France, Great Britain and Italy
To succeed the subsonic grazing flight Exocets, France and Great Britain undertook, within the framework of the Lancaster House agreements in 2010, to develop a new family of naval missiles called Future Cruise Missile and Future Anti-Ship Missile, or FMC/FMaN in French terminology.
The first should make it possible to succeed the Tomahawk arming the destroyers, frigates and submarines of the Royal Navy, as well as the MdCN which arm the Aquitaine class frigates and the Suffren nuclear attack submarines of the French Navy.
The second will replace the British Harpoon, as well as the French Exocet, on all surface combatant units and on board the attack submarines of the two countries. Obviously, both London and Paris anticipate significant export success for these two missiles, based on the trust built around the Exocet family.
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