Army Successfully Launches Future Combat System Missile
July 17, 2008
The Army completed two successful tests July 14 of its Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System's (NLOS-LS) precision attack missile at White Sand Missile Range, N.M.
As part of the Army's effort to provide Future Combat System (FCS) technologies to its infantry brigade combat teams (IBCT), the NLOS-LS will supply infantry units with their own network-linked missile capable of precisely striking a target over 20 kilometers away.
The NLOS-LS consists of what is known as a Container Launch Unit (CLU) or "missiles in a box", which may be clustered together. Each CLU holds 15 missiles, and a computer operated communications system that allows for remote firing. Each missile receives target information prior to launch, and can receive and respond to target location updates during flight enabling it to engage a moving target.
According to Lt. Col. Fred Hughes, Army NLOS-LS Assistant Product Manager, "The test marked the first time an Army missile with an on-board radio transmitted both missile status while in flight and a preloaded, simulated target image just prior to impact."
The missile accomplishes this by transmitting an image of the target in near-real-time information, through the use of an on-board radio. This gives the commander the ability to visually ensure that the intended target was attacked.
This successful test means the NLOS-LS will play a vital role in the FCS limited user test planned for next summer. The test will support a production decision allowing NLOS-LS to be fielded to the first IBCT in 2011. Additionally, the NLOS-LS will be used by the U.S. Navy on its littoral combat ships.
The U.S. Army FCS program is the cornerstone to Army modernization efforts. This test is the just another in a series of successful steps that have kept the program on time and on budget.