By Lt. Col. Frederick Hughes for the Redstone RocketNovember 20, 2008
The Infantry Brigade Combat Team is about to get more lethal. With the Army's decision in June to transition Future Combat Systems technologies to the light infantry force, the Non-Line of Sight-Launch System is slated to join the IBCT's portfolio of weapon systems in 2011.
The NLOS-LS will provide the IBCT commander with an extended range, precision attack capability that enhances the lethality and responsiveness of the IBCT on the current and future battlefields. As an organic weapon system, the brigade commander will "own" the NLOS-LS, thus dramatically improving the ability to conduct precision fire missions, while reducing reliance on external strike assets.
The Infantry Brigade Combat Team is organized around dismounted infantry with the mission to conduct offensive operations against conventional and unconventional forces in restrictive terrain. The IBCT is also capable of executing airborne and air assault missions making it more suitable for restrictive terrain operations than other types of BCTs.
The NLOS-LS is capable of unattended/unmanned operations under all weather conditions and can be deployed via Humvee/FMTV truck, UH-60 sling load, or C-130 airdrop. Armed with 15 precision attack missiles, it is capable of engaging a variety of armored and unarmored targets, both moving and stationary, on current and future battlefields.
This capability will give the commander flexibility in engaging time-sensitive targets, as well as engagements that require precision to avoid collateral damage. It also extends the fire support range of the brigade commander.
In addition to the NLOS-LS system, the Army intends to spin out other selected FCS technologies to the IBCT force. The systems include Network Integration Kits, Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles, the Class I Unmanned Air Systems, and Unattended Ground Sensors. Together, these technologies will increase the situational awareness of the IBCT commander and ultimately improve the lethality and survivability of the IBCT on future battlefields.
The NLOS-LS is one of the FCS program's 14 core systems. Future Combat System is the Army's leading modernization program to develop manned and unmanned systems linked by a common network and equipped with leading edge technology.
The NLOS-LS Project Office is located at Redstone Arsenal within the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space. The NLOS-LS is under development by the NetFires LLC, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.