Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheap, Fast, Deadly: NETFIRES “Missiles in a Box” (NLOS-LS)

The basic concept of NETFIRES (a Future Combat Systems program) is to develop a family of artillery-like precision attack missiles based upon a vertical launcher design. Yet the idea goes far beyond that simple description. The NETFIRES CLU box launcher is intended to be be fully autonomous, meaning it can be dropped off anywhere and operate on its own without a support vehicle. The launch unit includes power generation and control systems as well as a total of 15 missiles, each with a warhead similar in size and capability to a 155mm artillery shell.
The system is also known as XM501 Non Line-Of-Sight, Launch System, or NLOS-LS. At one time, it was one of Future Combat systems’ most promising programs, slated for early fielding to the Army and even for integration with US naval forces. Now, its absence threatens to leave a serious hole in both the Army’s and Navy’s modernization plans.


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