Murdoc’s friends at BAE Systems forwarded this new video of the NLOS-C (Non Line Of Sight – Cannon) demonstrator, part of the Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.
The NLOS-C previously used an XM777 155mm howitzer, but though that lightweight cannon is currently headed to the war zone, the NLOS-C demonstrator has switched to an ultra-lightweight 38-caliber cannon after over a thousand successful test firings with the 39-caliber XM777.
The 38-caliber tube gives up about 4km in range (with rocket assisted projectiles) to the longer 39-caliber, but it saves over 1300 pounds of weight. As everyone who has been following the FCS program (or the Stryker, for that matter) knows, weight issues are plaguing virtually every armored system out there as the military struggles to get effective, well-protected vehicles the ability to deploy by air.
18 Initial Production Platform NLOS-Cs are scheduled to be built, starting in late 2008. Though the future of the FCS program is uncertain due to many different issues, the NLOS-C has been leading the way and looks quite promising.
Click the thumbnail image to download the video (6.6MB .wmv) I understand that this is the video’s first public availability. It’s a Murdoc Exclusive. If you like things that go boom, you’ll like the video.