Australia signs contract with Kongsberg to integrate RF sensor in Joint Strike Missile

Kongsberg Defence Systems has entered into a contract with Defence for the integration of a new capability in the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) worth the equivalent of $23 million.

The unique, state-of-the-art radio frequency (RF) seeker sensor developed by BAE Systems Australia will enable the JSM to locate targets on the basis of their electronic signature, Kongsberg said in a statement.

This contract is a result of an agreement between Australia and Norway to cooperate on the further development of the JSM that was announced in February 2015.

“JSM is the fifth-generation long-range precision strike missile that will be integrated for internal carriage on the F-35,” Kongsberg stated. “Using a combination of advanced materials, ability to fly low, while following the terrain and using advanced passive seekers, the missile is extremely difficult to detect and stop, even for the most advanced countermeasures and defence systems.”

BAE Systems stated that the signing of the contract will enable Kongsberg to continue the integration and qualification of the passive RF sensor.

“The company will provide a low-cost, lightweight and highly sensitive electronic support measure receiver for incorporation on JSM, which will feature an additional land attack and littoral attack capability, as well as a two-way communications line for target adjustment and inflight termination,” BAE Systems stated.

“In its work with Kongsberg, BAE Systems has delivered a pre-production passive RF sensor for the JSM program, which was used to perform fit checks, system integration and support flight-testing in a development-standard missile.”

In support of the contract, BAE Systems will supply new sensors to Kongsberg for use in its qualification activities.

“This is a great example of niche technology being developed through government and industry collaboration that has the potential to provide long-term, sustainable exports for Australia,” said BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips.

The company stated that the technology was developed with the support of a Defence-funded program, and that it received a grant in 2013 to help commercialise the technology.

“We are very pleased that Australia joins the development of JSM by funding the integration of the RF seeker, and that we together can increase the JSM capabilities,” said Eirik Lie, president of Kongsberg Defence Systems.