YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. (Army News Service, Sep. 23, 2008) -- The Future Combat Systems program successfully fired the first artillery projectile from the manned ground vehicle non-line-of-sight cannon prototype.
The successful firing of the projectile is a milestone for the program, said Lt. Col. Robert McVay, Army product manager for NLOS-C.
"This marks the first 155mm round fired from a fully automated howitzer mounted on an FCS hybrid-electric chassis and remotely commanded through its on-board computers and controls," he said.
The NLOS-C has the ability to rapidly deliver precision munitions in both urban and conventional battle space, officials said, adding that it is the lead prototype in the Army's family of eight FCS manned ground vehicles.
Advanced FCS technology provides the two-man artillery crew with the capability to rapidly deliver highly accurate sustained fires for close and destructive fires. That technology includes a fully automated ammunition loading system, improved accuracy through on-board projectile tracking, and the FCS network and sensors.
A total of eight NLOS-C prototypes will be produced between 2008 and 2009. All will undergo rigorous testing, safety certification and evaluations at various Army test facilities, officials said. They said the NLOS-C prototypes will be used for testing and evaluation of not only the artillery system, but also the MGV common chassis and technologies.
The NLOS-C P1 will fire an additional 500 rounds through early 2009 to obtain a safety release that will allow Soldiers to move, shoot, and communicate from an NLOS-C in spring 2009, officials said. Beginning in 2010, Soldiers at the Army's Evaluation Task Force are scheduled to receive the first of 18 NLOS-C platforms. The AETF will put those vehicles through combat scenarios to provide lessons learned that will be used to enhance and finalize design for the final production NLOS-Cs and the rest of the MGV family.