The U.S. Navy aims to equip its littoral combat ships with new over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles in an effort to improve lethality and survivability, Military.com reported Wednesday.
A Lockheed Martin executive confirmed that the service branch is already working on plans for the integration of its LCS fleet and the Naval Strike Missiles from Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence and Raytheon.
Joe DePietro, Lockheed's vice president of small combatants and ship systems, said the Navy hopes to install the first NSMs on the LCS set to deploy in 2020.
"Having some of these capabilities helps it to be in a position to be more 'a little bit scout, a little bit more offensive,' have a little more capability to be integrated with cruisers and destroyers," he said.
DePietro noted the effort comes as the U.S. seeks to address the growing threats from China and Russia.
The Navy also plans to add the Surface Electronic Warfare Information Program Block 2 electronic surveillance sensors to the ships as well as the MK 53 Decoy Launching System for increased defense.
The service currently has 16 of the 32 LCS that it planned to commission.