No, that post title is not a random assortment of letters. The Navy has issued a Request For Information (RFI) to industry to solicit ideas for an over-the-horizon (OTH) missile system for the LCS. The two obvious candidates are an upgraded Harpoon and Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) was “test fired” from an LCS in an absolutely worthless test in which the missile launcher was simple placed on the deck of the LCS-4, USS Coronado, last year and launched with absolutely no tie in to the ship’s weapon systems. The same test could have been equally well performed from a dock or a parking lot in a shopping mall.
In any event, the assumption was that the test was paving the public relations way for selection of the NSM as the OTH weapon for the LCS. It is unclear why the Navy is taking a step that could be construed as a step back by issuing this RFI. Presumably, something has come to light regarding the NSM that renders it less than ideal for use with the LCS. Aside from mundane issues like cost or production capacity, the only technical issue I can imagine is an inability to smoothly integrate into the fire control system. Supporting this thought is the RFI’s language calling for industry information regarding complete weapon systems for the OTH role.
ComNavOps will continue to keep an eye on this.