BAE Systems Completes Integration of First NLOS-C Prototype for U.S. Army
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - BAE Systems has completed the integration of the first Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Cannon prototype: the U.S. Army’s first fully integrated Future Combat Systems (FCS) Manned Ground Vehicle.
NLOS Cannon, designed and built by BAE Systems, in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems and the FCS Lead System Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corporation, is an integral part of the FCS Program and the lead vehicle in the family of eight FCS Manned Ground Vehicles.
“The Army and its industry partners have taken a monumental step in ensuring our soldiers continue to have an overwhelming battlefield advantage against our enemies,” said Jim Unterseher, vice president of Army Programs at BAE Systems. “NLOS Cannon gives our troops the best opportunity to achieve their mission objectives more safely and precisely than ever before. This is an important occasion for soldiers, the U.S. Army and the development of future ground combat vehicles.”
The NLOS Cannon which is being developed in partnership with the Lead Systems Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corporation will be the first of the eight Manned Ground Vehicle variants to be developed and fielded as part of the FCS program. BAE Systems is taking the NLOS Cannon prototype through a series of initial system checks before it goes on public display during events celebrating the U.S. Army’s 233rd birthday this week. It will then begin soldier testing this fall.
“Integration of this first NLOS Cannon prototype marks a major step toward our goal of delivering to the Army an entire new family of networked vehicles with next-generation survivability and sustainability features,” said Roger Besancenez, Boeing Integrated Product Team leader for FCS Manned Ground Vehicle.
The NLOS Cannon prototype boasts a series of combat vehicle “firsts” that demonstrate the distinct advantages the FCS Manned Ground Vehicle family will bring to American soldiers.
NLOS Cannon firsts include:
* FCS Manned Ground Vehicle - Much of the advanced technology being developed for the NLOS Cannon is being incorporated into the design and development of other vehicles in the Manned Ground Vehicle family. Maximizing commonality between the vehicles reduces Army maintenance and logistics burdens.
* Two-man howitzer vehicle crew - Today’s howitzers require teams of five or more soldiers to operate effectively. NLOS Cannon requires only two soldiers to operate and provides them with the ability to conduct all vehicle operations from the comfort of a climate-controlled, user-friendly, digitized cockpit.
* Fully automated ammunition handling system for a U.S. howitzer - The fully automated ammunition handling system holds 155-mm projectiles and Modular Artillery Charge System propelling charges. The automation eliminates the physical handling of ammunition that weighs more than 100 pounds and provides soldiers the ability to fire rounds at sustained rates with the push of a button.
* Hybrid electric drive system - The NLOS Cannon is the first vehicle in the U.S. Army’s fleet with sustainable hybrid technology. Soldiers will complete missions using a system that generates its own electricity, recharges its own batteries, uses less fuel and maintains a very low carbon footprint. The hybrid propulsion system provides more take-off power than today’s combat vehicles.
* U.S. combat vehicle to use band tracks - The NLOS Cannon chassis features highly durable, lightweight band tracks that provide a smoother ride over conventional steel tracks.
BAE Systems and industry partners will integrate four more NLOS Cannon prototypes. As part of the Army’s Special Interest Production program, 18 NLOS Cannon vehicles will be produced by 2012 for use with the Army’s Evaluation Task Force at Ft. Bliss, Texas. The NLOS Cannon vehicles are key test assets for the FCS Manned Ground Vehicle program. Lessons learned from the NLOS Cannon prototype testing will be used to enhance and finalize the design for the common components of the other seven Manned Ground Vehicle types as they begin testing and production in future years.
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