Army and BAE Systems today unveiled the first Future Combat
Systems (FCS) Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Mortar Firing Platform.
The NLOS Mortar is being designed by BAE Systems to transform
the traditional role of the mortar on the battlefield by providing
greater crew survivability and enhanced fire support for infantry
forces. NLOS Mortar is designed for breech loading, to allow
firing the weapon under the protection of the vehicle's armor,
rather than having an open firing platform as is common on today's
self-propelled mortar platforms.
The vehicle mounts an automated, single-tube, 120-mm smoothbore
turreted mortar. The NLOS Mortar Firing Platform is being delivered
to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, where it will undergo test firing
to confirm the reliability of its advanced armament technologies,
such as automated ammunition storage and handling, breech-loading,
in-bore air regulation system (IBARS) and automated mortar cooling
system (AMCS) subsystems. Following the testing phase at Camp
Ripley, the firing platform will be upgraded with an early prototype
of the entire mission module equipment suite, which will have
80 percent commonality with the NLOS
Cannon whichis already undergoing firing tests. The mission
module will then be tested at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.
The AMCS keeps the mortar tube cool to enable high rates of
fire for long durations. It also ensures the tube is clean at
all times to reduce soldier work load and increase system responsiveness.
BAE Systems engineers incorporated the patent-pending IBARS
technology, which allows soldiers to fire mortars at low angles
to increase effectiveness and flexibility. It also provides
a safe method for extracting misfired rounds without endangering
The FCS development schedule calls for the first Non-Line-of-Sight
(NLOS) Mortar prototypes to be delivered in 2011 for testing
with an FCS Army Evaluation Task Force, and Low-Rate Initial
Production scheduled to begin in 2014. The following timeline
outlines the current development milestones demonstrating the
system is on schedule.
The NLOS Mortar is one of eight manned ground vehicles being
designed and built as part of FCS - the Army's premier modernization
program comprising a networked, fully integrated family of manned
ground vehicles, unmanned ground and air vehicles, and sensors.
BAE Systems is the Future Combat Systems Lead Systems Integrator
(LSI) team of Boeing and partner Science Applications International