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First Round fired from 38-Calibre NLOS Cannon


August 2, 2005

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UPDATED August 3, 2005 The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) Concept Technology Demonstrator is the next generation advanced cannon artillery solution for the US Army and it has been clocking up milestones on its fast-tracked road to deployment recently. Designed to move rapidly and set-up quickly, the Non-Line of Site cannon is capable of firing a round every 10 seconds and maintaining a sustained rate of six rounds per minute at ranges of nearly 15 miles. The NLOS-C is a hybrid-diesel aluminium-armored vehicle with extremely quiet 18-inch band tracks. Most significantly, it is far more automated than any mobile cannon in history, with an automatic ammunition-handling system laser igniter and enough robotics to reduce the crew from four to two compared to the Crusader it will replace. It is also half the weight of a Crusader, 30 percent more fuel-efficient and the lead manned ground vehicle system of the US Army's Future Combat Systems program.

The lighter-weight 38-caliber length tube replaces the CTD's 39-caliber length tube which fired more than a thousand rounds during trials over the last two years and the successful integration and firing of the 38-caliber tube (in less than one month) is a milestone in the development path toward fielding NLOS-C prototypes in 2008.

The NLOS-C provides unprecedented responsiveness and lethality to the Unit of Action commander. The NLOS-C provides networked, extended-range targeting, and precision attack of point and area targets in support of the Unit of Action with a suite of munitions that include special purpose capabilities.

The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon NLOS-C provides sustained fires for close support and destructive fires for tactical standoff engagement. The system’s primary purpose is to provide responsive fires in support of the FCS Combined Arms Battalions , and their subordinate units in concert with line-of-sight, Beyond-Line-of-Sight, Non-Line-of-Sight, external and Joint capabilities.

The system provides flexible support through its ability to change effects round-by-round and mission-by-mission. These capabilities, combined with rapid response to calls for fire and rate of fire, provide a variety of effects on demand.

The cannon will be able to move rapidly, stop quickly, and deliver lethal first round effects on target in record time. The NLOS Cannon will have a multiple round-simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability.

The MRSI capability, coupled with the NLOS-C’s superior sustained rate of fire, will provide record effects on target from a smaller number of systems. The cannon, like all Manned Ground Vehicle variants, can rapidly rearm and refuel, and its system weight makes it uniquely deployable. Fully automated handling, loading, and firing will be another centerpiece of the NLOS-C. The NLOS-C balances deployability and sustainability with responsiveness, lethality, survivability, agility, and versatility.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Re-inventing the wheel at ruinous expense, the US military do it again. Check out the Swedish Archer system. Fires more, bigger, rounds per minute already.


Doug MacLeod

The South African long range artillery system ( I think its called \"Rooikat\") does somethings similar. Since 1995. But with a better and more mobile base...

Mike Biagio
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