The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program successfully fired the first artillery projectile from the Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) Prototype Sept. 22 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz.,. The NLOS-C, which has the ability to rapidly deliver precision munitions in both urban and conventional battle space and is the lead prototype in the Army's family of eight FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGVs)

The NLOS-C is much different than all the other combat vehicles produced by the Army thus far. Advanced FCS technology such as a fully automated ammunition loading system and improved accuracy through on-board projectile tracking coupled with the power of the FCS network and sensors; provide the two-man artillery crew with the capability to rapidly deliver highly accurate sustained fires for close and destructive fires. The networked capability is critical for counter insurgency and conventional warfare. "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." stated Lieutenant Colonel Robert McVay, Army Product Manager for NLOS-C.

A total of eight NLOS-C prototypes will be produced between 2008 and 2009. All to undergo rigorous testing, safety certification and evaluations at various Army test facilities. 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. From there, Soldiers at the Army's Evaluation Task Force (AETF) will receive 18 NLOS-C platforms starting in 2010. The AETF will put the NLOS-C through combat scenarios to provide lessons learned that will be used to enhance and finalize the design for the final production NLOS-Cs and the rest of the MGV family.

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For more information, interested news media may contact: Paul D. Mehney, US Army PM FCS (BCT), 586-770-3438; or Amber M. Theisen, US Army PM FCS (BCT), 586-322-3210