The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) on Oct. 1 during Pacific Griffin.
The event marked the first time an integrated NSM system was launched from a U.S. Navy LCS.
RGM-184A NSM Block 1
Contacted by Naval News, a NAVSEA PAO told us that the new anti-ship missile is designated “RGM-184A”.
From 1962 the US Department of Defence established a unified missile and rocket designation sequence. The basic designation of every guided missile is based in a set of letters, which are in sequence. The sequence indicates the following:
- The environment from which the weapon is launched
- The primary mission of the weapon
- The type of weapon
In the case of the NSM, RGM stands for:
- R: Ship-launched weapon
- G: Surface-attack weapon
- M: Guided missile
Another anti-ship missile that will soon join the U.S. Navy inventory is the LRASM. Its designation is “AGM-158C” for Air-launched surface attack guided missile. The last letter stand for the block or modification of the weapon. In the case of the LRASM, since the missile is based on the JASSM (AGM-158A) and follows the extanded range version (JASSM ER AGM-158B), the missile is considered the 3rd modification.
LRASM and NSM are both replacing the ageing (and iconic) Harpoon anti-ship missile by Boeing. The Harpoon missile had many designations depending on its variant:
- RGM-84A surface-launched
- AGM-84A air-launched
- UGM-84A submarine-launched
NSM has an operational range of 185 Km (100 nautical miles) and a high subsonic speed. It uses Inertial, GPS and terrain-reference navigation and imaging infrared homing (with a target database aboard the missile).
The NSM is a fifth generation anti-sip missile, produced by Kongsberg and managed in the U.S. by Raytheon. NSM reached Initial Operational Capability on the new Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and the Norwegian Skjold Class corvettes in 2012. It is also fielded by the Polish Navy (coastal defense batteries) and has been selected by the navies of Malaysia and Germany. NSM was also selected in 2018 as the winner of the U.S. Navy Over-The-Horizon Weapon System (OTH WS) competition and by the USMC this year.