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NLOS-LS (Non Line Of Sight - Launch System) AKA Netfires - Progress

Kirkhill

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The Netfires project was intended to put 15 missiles of the same size as a Hellfire into a vertical launch container in which they could be stored indefinitely, transported by any logistical vehicle and from which they could be fired.   The container could be vehicle or ground mounted at time of launch.

The Missiles seem to be continuing to be derivatives of the Hellfire system, a family of missiles that now include Longbow, Brimstone, the Joint Common Missile, the Precision Attack Missile and the turbo-jet powered Loitering Attack Missile.   All of them are based on what appears to be a common munition of 100 lbs and 7 inch diameter of which about 20 lbs seems dedicated to warhead, including seeker.   Hellfire, Longbow and Brimstone were all differentiated by different seekers for different targets but the movement now seems to be to create common seekers and warheads so that one missile can be reprogrammed at launch or in-flight to attack a variety of targets from different aspects (horizontal or vertical)

Early reports indicated that the goal of the Netfires NLOS programme was to produce a 70 km missile if I remember correctly but that seems to have been dialled back:

PAM is a direct attack missile that is effective against moving and stationary targets at ranges from zero to 40 km and effective against hard and soft targets.

However coupled with the inclusion of the NLOS-LS in the FCS demonstration ( http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/34907/post-276266.html#msg276266 ) it appears as if the capabilities offered are more important than the range, ie if range is the only limiting factor then maybe the programme can go ahead at the shorter range.   This would make the NLOS-LS system broadly compatible with M777 and other 155mm units as far as range.

Raytheon NLOS-LS Enhanced Precision Attack Missile Seeker Approved as Baseline Capability
 
 
(Source: Raytheon Co.; issued Sept. 28, 2005)
 
 
TUCSON, Ariz. --- The Raytheon Company-developed Enhanced Precision Attack Missile (EPAM) seeker has been transitioned to the baseline seeker for the Non Line of Sight â “ Launch System Precision Attack Missile (PAM).  

The EPAM seeker is a dual-mode unit using uncooled imaging infrared technology coupled with a semi-active laser. The EPAM seeker incorporates numerous improvements from the initial seeker designed, developed and successfully demonstrated during the predecessor Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency-sponsored NetFires program. The EPAM seeker was funded by Army Science and Technology through the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center.  

The EPAM seeker improvements include an optics package that provides significant image and producibility enhancements. NLOS-LS is currently in the system development and demonstration phase of the program for the U. S. Army. Work under this contract began in 2004. The EPAM seeker will be built, assembled and tested at Raytheon's Missile Systems business in Tucson, Ariz.  

"We're very pleased that the EPAM seeker has met and exceeded every design and performance parameter established by the program office for the Precision Attack Missile," said Scott Speet, executive vice president of NetFires LLC and NLOS-LS program director. "The EPAM seeker is just one part of ongoing, government-funded, seeker enhancement contracts for the PAM missile. Raytheon is also under contract to develop a tri-mode seeker for the PAM that will include millimeter wave technologies."  

The NLOS-LS system consists of Raytheon's Precision Attack Missile (PAM), Lockheed Martin's Loitering Attack Missile (LAM) and a joint Container Launch Unit (CLU). In 2004, the Army accelerated fielding of the NLOS-LS and CLU to the Army's Evaluation Brigade Combat Team into Spin Out 1 in fiscal year 2008.  

NLOS-LS provides a commander with immediate, precise and responsive fires on high payoff targets with real time target acquisition and battle effects. PAM is a direct attack missile that is effective against moving and stationary targets at ranges from zero to 40 km and effective against hard and soft targets. The missile includes a networked datalink that can be used for in- flight updates via ground and airborne sensor nodes and has a large multi-mode warhead effective against both hard and soft targets.  


Raytheon Company, with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.  

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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.4308111.1089903978.QPadasOa9dUAAESlMZk&modele=jdc_34

Could this lead to a pairing of:

60mm mortar - ALAAWS (Javelin or Gill/Spike-MR) at 2.5 km

81mm mortar - Hellfire or Gill/Spike-LR or CKEM at 5 km

120mm mortar or 105mm howitzer- Gill/Spike-ER or EFOGM at 10 to 15 km

155mm howitzer - NLOS-LS at 40 km

Helicopters - MRLS at   70km or more

Aircraft at > 200km

I note that the 155mm calibre, MRLS munitions are both being considered for shipboard use and Helicopters are obviously already suitable for deployment by ship.




 

Kirkhill

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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.4308111.1089903978.QPadasOa9dUAAESlMZk&modele=jdc_34

General Dynamics warhead selected for PAM

40 km range, hard and soft targets, moving and stationary.

I don't know the weight of the warhead yet but looking at the airframe, its commonality with the Hellfire family in size and weight then something on the order of 9 kg or 20 lb looks to be about right.
 

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US Navy looking at 40km NLOS-LS (PAM) for Littoral Combat Ship

Raytheon/NetFires LLC successfully Completes Preliminary Design Review for NLOS-LS Precision Attack Missile
 
 
(Source: Raytheon Company; issued Nov. 7, 2005)
 
 
TUCSON, Ariz. --- Raytheon Company and the NetFires Limited Liability Company (LLC), a company composed of Raytheon Missile Systems and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, successfully passed a preliminary design review for the Non Line of Sight-Launch System (NLOS-LS) Precision Attack Missile (PAM). 

The successful completion of the PAM preliminary design review (PDR) represents the accomplishment of a significant milestone in meeting the design and performance parameters of the NLOS-LS PAM supporting FCS Spin Out 1. NLOS-LS is currently in the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase of the program for the Army. 

Work under this contract began in 2004, and the PAM PDR was completed "right on schedule," said Scott Speet, executive vice president of the NetFires LLC and Raytheon's NLOS-LS program director. "The NLOS-LS PAM team, comprised of Raytheon and its component suppliers, worked very hard to meet this critical milestone, and this is a credit to the entire team." 

The PAM missile, developed under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) NetFires program, successfully conducted numerous flight tests during the DARPA program. That program focused on innovative design and performance of a compact, networked, precision attack missile launched from a self contained, platform independent launcher. The demonstrated flight performance success of the PAM during the DARPA program supported transition to the Army SDD and the decision by the Army to accelerate fielding of the NLOS-LS PAM and Container Launch Unit (CLU). 

"We're very pleased with the manner in which the NLOS-LS team worked to reach PDR. They have demonstrated a preliminary design that meets all design and performance requirements for the Precision Attack Missile," said Col. Doug Dever, the Army's NLOS-LS program manager. 

The NLOS-LS system consists of Raytheon's Precision Attack Missile (PAM), Lockheed Martin's Loitering Attack Missile (LAM) and a joint CLU. In 2004, the Army made the decision to accelerate the Raytheon PAM and CLU for incorporation into the Army's Evaluation Brigade Combat Team, Spin Out 1." 

The Navy entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Army in 2004 for the NLOS-LS system. The Navy has selected the NLOS-LS PAM and CLU for integration on the Littoral Combat Ship, which is also scheduled for delivery in fiscal year 2008. Successful completion of the PAM PDR is a major step along the development path to support both services requirements for the system. 

NLOS-LS provides a commander with immediate, precise and responsive fires on high payoff targets with real time target acquisition and battle effects. PAM is a direct attack missile that is effective against moving and stationary targets at ranges from zero to 40 km and effective against hard and soft targets, bunkers and small boats. The missile includes a networked datalink that provides in-flight updates to each missile with ground and airborne sensor nodes and has a multi-mode warhead effective against both services' target sets. 


Raytheon Company, with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide. 

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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16743278.1131606546.Q3LyEsOa9dUAADz4jJI&modele=jdc_34

 

Kirkhill

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Loitering Attack Missile   and Net-Centric Warfare


Lockheed Martin's Succesful Experiment Alpha Furthers Collaborative Net-Centric Experimentation
 
 
(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Nov. 15, 2005)
 
 
SUFFOLK, VA. --- Lockheed Martin has completed a successful experiment at the Center for Innovation that demonstrated the power of networked warfighting in driving critical, time-sensitive intelligence data to combat commanders in minutes instead of hours, enhancing operational results and safety of deployed troops.  

The experiment involved the use of "non-traditional" intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data acquired from loitering missiles. In a net-centric environment, the sensors on-board a loitering missile or a missile en route to a target can be used to gather battlefield information. An estimate of how long it would take for the intelligence to be accessed by an analyst was compared to actual data generated in the experiment.  

In one scenario a Littoral Combat Ship supporting a special operations force deployed in coastal waters might be able to respond to a threat identified by a loitering missile--and do so in minutes rather than hours. The experiment validated the ability of networked systems to dramatically compress the time from initial discovery of a threat, to being able to act upon it.  

In a non-networked, conventional environment, the data gathered might have to be relayed by e-mail, by telephone, by instant messaging or by personal communication, taking possibly hours to reach people who need to know.  

"From an operational view, the experiment proves the increased awareness of the battlefield acquired by these loitering munitions, while they seamlessly interface with the Global Information Grid (GIG) and interact with operational commanders on the ground," Glenn Kuller, program management director, said.  

The experiment also accomplished three objectives that pave the way for future collaborative experimentation at the company's state-of-the art laboratory that opened in April.  

These include: development and validation of an experiment process that customers for future collaborative work; implementation of prototype net-centric enterprise services; and integration of the Center's operational analysis capability to qualitatively assess experiment hypotheses and objectives.  

"The successful completion of Experiment Alpha validated our proof-of-concept ideas and provided a foundation for new development work with our customers," said Buck Marr, vice president of the Center for Innovation. "We've validated the Center's readiness for collaborative projects and set the stage for further experimentation with our customers."  

From a process standpoint, Lockheed Martin began with the Department of Defense Command and Control Research Program's "Code of Best Practices for Experimentation" publication that provided a management framework for warfighting experimentation in a net-centric environment and created a new engineering and technology support process.  

The lessons learned from this early experiment will allow the company to quickly and systematically build experiments for customers. "Discovering what's available on the Global Information Grid is a tough challenge," explained Tom Haser, director of net-centric integration. "Finding services on the GIG should be as simple as finding a plumber or electrician in the Yellow Pages. The technology is not quite there, but we're definitely making progress."  

The experiment leveraged the corporation's Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) prototype as part of the experiment infrastructure. Lockheed Martin has already emulated the transport layer at the Center with its GIG testbed. This combination of capabilities enables experimentation with unprecedented interdependence of systems across the future battlespace.  

"The experiment demonstrates a vast improvement in the speed of discovery made possible by the ability to collect, transport, and share information quickly and intelligently," Haser said. "Experiment Alpha and other initial experiments at the Center represent a powerful foundation for experimentation to support effective and repeatable collaborative experimentation with customers."  


Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.  

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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16753036.1132153995.Q3tMi8Oa9dUAACDjIrY&modele=jdc_34
 

a_majoor

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Sadly, it looks like the only Netfires we will see are incoming ones:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/weapons/russian-missile-in-box

Missiles in Boxes: The Pentagon Cancels Plans, Russians Market Theirs

By Joe Pappalardo
Missile in a Box

When Robert Hewson, of Jane's Defence Weekly, saw the promotional video for a new missile system called Club-K, he must have known it was special. A Russian company called Morinformsistema-Agat is marketing a cruise missile that can hide inside and launch from inside a shipping container. The six-minute video depicts an invasion from a neighboring country, and the afflicted nation hiding the missile in a port setting, inside an innocuous grey shipping container. The container's top flips open, the missile extends vertically and launches. In the video (embedded below), music blares—what sounds like the soundtrack to the Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean—as the Club-K's four missiles careen into the sky. The missiles take separate paths, aimed at warships, a concentration of tanks and an airfield.

How could such a weapon be used? For starters, it could make any container ship a clandestine missile boat, able to severely damage an aircraft carrier or escort. It could also be smuggled into a nation and shot from inside that nation's missile defense system. Loaded on trains, they become hidden missile launch sites. Such a system could counter many U.S. advantages, including satellite and UAV reconnaissance imagery and the ability to use ships as a base to support land operations. Remember the less-than-perfect mobile missile Scud huts of the first Gulf War? Imagine if they could hide in nondescript boxes. Close-to-shore terrorism threats also become a little more real, although the chance that a non-state actor would get their hands on one and ship it to the United States seems remote, mainly due to the price and the ability of the United States to track down the culprits via Russia.

The U.S. has its own proposed missile-system-in-a-box plans, but the Army is poised to cancel the project, which was part of the now-defunct Future Combat Systems program. The Navy can't be happy about the prospect, since it was going to use a version of the system on its upcoming Littoral Combat Ship program.





http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/weapons/russian-missile-in-box
 

GnyHwy

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These types of weapons and munitions sure are fancy but, what type of target calls for this that we can't already hit with what we have now?

With the way the budget is likely to go, we can only dream that we will get it in 20yrs.

I say conventional with a much more precise approach.

My prediction.  105mm LG1 (fancy 105mm is in development) and 155mm M77 will become a service gun.

THe GMLRS was going to show up but, not likely now.

 

GnyHwy

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The moving target and target recognition ammo is pretty cool though.

I am wondering about procedure and how we would screw it up, rendering the projectile ineffective cause the moving target would be long gone.
 
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