According to a scale model and pictures shared by Kongsberg, the integration study should firstly involve the MH-60R platform. “The NSM has been approved for rotary wing platforms so integration work can now start,” Raytheon NSM Program Director Randy Kempton confirmed today at SAS 2019.
Prior to executing a strike mission, an advanced off-board mission planning tool allows for route generation through numerous waypoints, terrain correlation for overland flight, and target identification criteria down to ship class specificity. These data are stored in the missile prior to the helicopter lift-off. The NSM-HL missile utilizes MIL-STD 1760 electrical interface and is drop-launched from a standard BRU-14 bomb rack.
Arming an helicopter with the NSM-HL would potentially increase the mother ship operational range. Given the operational radius of the MH-60R of 450 nm, the effective range from the ship for the NSM-HL will be more than 550 nm.
An April 2019 FMS announcement indicates that India may be the first country to consider purchase of the NSM-HL variant. Besides 24 MH-60R helicopters, the Indian Navy would purchase « two Naval Strike Missile Emulators » as well as « four Naval Strike Missile Captive Inert Training missiles », the FMS said.