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Breaking:LCS Loses Anti-Swarm Missile NLOS-LS

April 25, 2010
tags: ,

NLOS-LS

The Navy often stretches itself too thin, not just with warship deployments but also when it comes to weapons acquisition. This is true with aircraft, as it is with missiles like the NLOS-LS. Meant to be a do-it-all answer to the littoral combat ship’s ability to take on small boat swarm, now it is a likelihood the cancellation of the latter will leave the former even more under-armed than critics already consider it. Several stories incoming, the first from Kate Brannen at Army Times:

After completing a review of its precision fires portfolio, the Army is recommending the Defense Department cancel the Non-Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) program.
Army senior leaders decided on the move at a Thursday meeting, according to sources. Because NLOS-LS is an acquisition category 1 program, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter will have the final say.
Originally part of the Army’s Future Combat Systems program, NLOS-LS is also intended for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship.

The weapons are very expensive, which isn’t the problems so much, just that they don’t work. The NLOS-LS Precision Attack Missile failed to hit its target four out of six times during a flight-limited user test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., between Jan. 26 and Feb. 5. The Army determined that fixing the system’s problems would delay the program more than a year and keep it from being included in the first brigade set of Increment 1 equipment of the Brigade Combat Team-Modernization program, Maj. Gen. Keith Walker, commander of the service’s Future Force Integration Directorate, told reporters in Fort Bliss, Texas, earlier this month.

Price for each missile? $466,000 each! OK. So what does this mean for the world’s most expensive patrol boat, the LCS? Here is more commentary from Colin Clark and Greg Grant at DoD Buzz:

The Army’s cancellation of the program could have serious implications for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program as the NLOS-LS was to provide a substitute for the ship’s lack of vertical launch system cells — which can handle anti-ship, anti-aircraft or land attack missiles — that larger surface ships carry. The only weapon the LCS currently carries is single 57mm rapid-fire cannon that can range out to nine miles…

Analysts have pointed to the LCS’ lack of organic fires as a serious shortcoming that might limit its operational effectiveness. One of LCS’ primary missions is to screen battle fleets and help them fight off fast attack boat “swarms.” That’s where the NLOS-LS was supposed to come in, with a Loitering Attack Missile that could range out to 124 miles.

It was a bad idea. The best counter to a small boat swarm is another swarm, especially as the weapon and tactics of small boat swarms are advancing, while our counter to them, specifically hulls in the water decreases dramatically. The Navy spent so much on the exquisite hull there was very little room for adequate weapons. Had she been kept to the corvette size as originally intended, instead of the Blue Water frigate she is, the weapons might have received priority. In other words, she could have looked something like this:

Chilean navy Sa'ar 4-class fast-attack craft

Note the above 500 ton hull can carry 2×76 mm Oto Melara cannon, twice what LCS carries plus being a heavier gun. Also she possesses Harpoon or Gabriel anti-ship missiles, something LCS has yet to deploy. Apparently there will be plenty of aircraft carriers or destroyers around to escort the escort ship!

You could have afforded lots of them, and naturally with a small ship you think “we’d better arm her well or we’re toast”. No such thought received priority with LCS, whose obsolete frigate hull was intended for long range, sea-keeping, and crew comfort. If I was sailing on LCS, I would be more comforted to know I can manage any threat that comes against me, with enough weapons loaded, if ones goes out the other takes over.

*****

33 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink*
    May 9, 2010 6:11 am

    I’m with you on this Dr James. Trying to pack too many capabilities in one hull, high end frigate and patrol boat, you get the very expensive and modestly capable LCS. We have superships with Arleigh Burke, but we are lacking in the low end spectrum.

  2. Dr James permalink
    May 9, 2010 4:25 am

    What really shocks me is the cost of the NLOS-LS, at $466,000 it is about the same cost as a Harpoon missile, which has a considerably larger warhead. Likewise, the LCS has been a big mistake, and itself is approaching the cost of warships twice its size that are capable of carrying out 2 out of the three LCS missions simultaneously (see the German 6,800 ton F-125 frigate).

    What we ought to do is cap production of at fourteen boats (this allows the first flight of ten), equip those boats for mine warfare, and have the German’s license us to build some F-125’s. Equip them with the Otto Melara 5″/62 Vulcano round, and they will have a gun capable of providing fire support to 120km (20m cpa btw).

    Finally, build some corvettes to chase small boats and pirates. I haven’t been in agreement with Secretary Gates a great deal lately, but I agree with him on this one. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have a billion dollar destroyer chasing pirates.

  3. CBD permalink
    April 27, 2010 8:31 pm

    UPDATE: Army thinking of salvaging “elements” of the NLOS-LS system.
    Link.

    What elements? Possibly the CLU with LM re-pitching their own P44 technology as a separate element from the LM/Raytheon PAM.

  4. CBD permalink
    April 26, 2010 8:01 pm

    Bill,
    Good to know that info about the launcher. I’ve seen the technical specs for the LAU-10 and I figured that it was likely the same (essentially stamped-aluminum) for the 2.75″ rocket launchers. Sad to see that that’s not the case…maybe time for a carbon fiber/plastic casing and other non-rusting/similarly EM-safe components if they wanted to put it on ships, but beyond my skills to figure out.

    Yeah, I’d heard that the earlier models had some problem with the surface backscatter. Apparently later models had some significant modifications for the Nordic countries’ purposes and in some of the more recent Hellfire II models tasked for naval surface warfare.

    Thanks for the info!

  5. CBD permalink
    April 26, 2010 7:52 pm

    Jed: “NLOS replacements – Google for Lockheed Martin P44 – a privately funded initiative that seems to have had a few successful tests, tri-mode seeker and pretty good range, but not VLS at the moment ?s”

    I’m pretty certain that LM put their P44 tech into the NLOS-LS when it wasn’t picked up by the M270/HIMARS system operators and that much of the NLOS-LS is basically a cut-down and compressed P44.

    —-

    If the Navy put a Mk 41 and went ahead with the old POLAR (navalized, VL guided MLRS rocket, quad-packed in a Mk 13/25-length canister for the Mk 41 VLS system) and/or NTACMs (Navalized TACMs missile)…then they might be able to fit 8 or 9 P44s into a similar canister.

    Installing a set of 8 tubes of the Self Defense Launcher version of the Mk 41 would cost you 11.25′ x 8.6′ of deck space (plus and safety zones) and about 17′ of available depth. The Tactical module (some more space) takes about 22′ of depth with the same deck space.

    Weights aren’t available for the SDL version, but 8 cells of the Tactical length cost you 32,000lbs empty. For measure, a Mk 13 with SM-2III weighs 3,050lbs, a Mk 15 with VLA ASROC costs 3,200lbs. So 8 VLASROC will cost you up to 57,800lbs of displacement with the launcher and rounds loaded. Other assorted control systems will cost you some space and 1,480lbs more.

    The SDL version would be able to fit the ESSM, VLASROC, POLAR, NTACMs and SM-2II/III. The Tactical length might give each of these some more breathing room but otherwise offers little benefit. In other words, more than enough for the purposes of the LCS.

  6. Hudson permalink
    April 26, 2010 4:31 pm

    LCS is designed for speed and stealth. It is not designed to trade heavy blows with shore artillery or other ships at long range. Nor is it toothless. Twin helos and Fire scout can attack distant targets. The 57mm can shred exposed surface targets out to nine miles, and the twin 30mm rear mounts are not in eccentric positions (see Greek Rousson Class FAC, for example). Presumably, they can fire mine-busting rounds. Plus .50 pop pop pop.

    Yes, NLOS is a key component of the surface module. The air assets can deliver over-the-horizon firepower of comperable weight. If the Navy wants to see plunging fire from LCS, it can mount a 120mm mortar on the deck, with sandbags, and watch the tracers arc nicely out to 10,000 meters.

    NLOS is way too expensive for any practical use, as matters stand today.

  7. Jed permalink
    April 26, 2010 12:04 pm

    NLOS replacements – Google for Lockheed Martin P44 – a privately funded initiative that seems to have had a few successful tests, tri-mode seeker and pretty good range, but not VLS at the moment ?s

    But when it comes down to it, as others have stated, what should surely be re-examined is the ‘concept’ of the LCS itself, not what rockets it can or cannot carry ???

  8. Bill permalink
    April 26, 2010 12:02 pm

    The test firing of the rockets went fine. The Hellfire?..a bit ‘interesting’. Seems the standard air-launch version ot the time had issues with the back scatter from waves when fired from so close to the surface and more or less horizontally. It’s resultant flight path caused some consternation amongst all hands.

    The vintage LAUs had a frangible nose cone that was fitted when the old FFAR system was still flown on fixed-wing aircraft. So there is a good precedent for something like that. But the problem is with select fires..one round out and that takes care of the environmental cover for all remaining. The current LAU designs would be very hard to mod to protect individual tubes. Have you ever seen how the LAUs are built..and what of? Look about like something you would expect a vacuum cleaner company to produce. Very light and thin materials..and essentially considered disposable.

    Point being..a marinized LCPK rocket system would require a different launcher system and, since its in the existing launchers that is how the rounds are most commonly shipped and handled now (only RADHAZ safe method that I know of anyway)..some other items might have to be created to support a ship-based ‘gun’ system.

    Some version of LCPK rocket system might make sense as an anti-swarm CWIS..and the flechette rounds are seriously effective. Think “Iran Ajir”

  9. CBD permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:08 am

    Bill,
    I though I may have remembered something about your involvement…the soft sell seemed easier.

    A few follow-ups:
    How’d your test firings go?

    I was wondering if you folks working on that project had tried to seal the LAUs with any sort of covers (as is seen on the RAM/RIM-116) or with modern plastic/synthetic sealants?

    How difficult (in general) would it be to place an LAU with the APKWS onto the Mk 38 Mod 2, given the previous integration of such guided weapons onto the Mk 38 Mod 2’s parent Typhoon system?

    Much thanks for your time and expertise, as always.

  10. Bill permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:02 am

    CBD;
    Yes, I was directly involved, in fact.
    The stabilized mount project never went that far…never beyond one series of proof-of-concept tests at sea. (Hellfire and 2.75 firings mainly)

    The ‘ideas’ we had about the various ordnance and its survival in that small-ship environment were that the mount ‘lived’ in its stowed/retracted position within a sealed deck enclosure. No way you could ever make the thin-skinned aluminum 7 or 19 rd LAUs (with spring-loaded electrical contacts to the rounds themselves) resistant to continuous and direct salt water exposure. For that matter, everything else that was proposed to be hung on that mount were rotary wing aircraft weapons except for the .50 Ma Duece.

    It would have been a very versatile and effective armanent system for smaller ships and craft..but it was not envisioned that it would be a particularly robust nor low-maintenance one. It wasn’t being looked at ‘just’ for the PCs..if you know what I mean.

  11. CBD permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:46 am

    Bill,
    Lots of great ideas die their first time out of the stable.

    Speaking of which, do you have any experience/remembrance of the “stabilized weapon platform system” intended for the Cyclone class ships, which was meant to handle not just the 25mm Bushmaster cannon but also several types of rockets and missiles? If so, could you enlighten me on any issues they had with regards to maintaining Hydra rocket launchers and Hellfires in that relatively exposed (to salt, etc) environment?

  12. Bill permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:13 am

    “but they’ve managed to properly solicit and receive the Mk 38 Mod 2 (thru BAE/Rafael), the Mk 46 station (thru ATK), the Laser guided Zuni (thru MBDA/Elbit) and Laser guided Hydra (APKWS II, thru BAE)…all are significant improvements in weapons systems with limited goals and big results. ”

    With both Zuni and the Hydra 70 (or MK66) originating as USN rockets..and the early work to make both in to ‘cheap’ guided weapons all done by Navy, having the NLOS end up in navy hands might be just fine. I was playing with very early verions of a 2.75″ guidance package (with Garret) in the early 80s..and even then I was picking up on previous work and moving forward with it.

    If the Navy still retains the core expertise that gave us decades of the AIM-9 and continuous incremental improvements thereof..the Zuni and MK66/Hydra70 rocket systems and many other such fireworks then there is, in my opinion, still hope for the future of a naval NLOS too.

    per’aps its not dead yet…just resting.

  13. Mike Burleson permalink*
    April 26, 2010 8:40 am

    Solomon asked “If the NLOS is too expensive for the Army then how can we hope for a cheaper outcome for the Navy?”

    Because the admirals will take it to the Magical Land of Oz and it will happen, like the 313 ship Navy. LOL

    Concerning the 57 mm cannon, good gun. Not bad at all, but only 1 on a 3000 ton warship that in the world wars would have been armed with every conceivable gun from numerous 5 inchers on down, then torpedoes, depth charges, and hedgehogs?

    I’d say our ships are wonderfully capable, speedy, roomy, smart.

    Question is, can they fight?

  14. CBD permalink
    April 26, 2010 7:47 am

    I wrote the following yesterday for the news links thread but didn’t get to post it until now…

    Problem: The Army has problems managing PGM programs, including, most recently, the Netfires/NLOS-LS system, with poor oversight and slow development meaning that an over-cost, underperforming/buggy control system fails and is set to be cancelled.

    Idea: Give it to the Navy & Marines.

    Justification: The DoN took the slow and failing Army APKWS II program and turned it into a now nearly battle-ready system. The Navy may have problems with the ships and related system design, but they’ve managed to properly solicit and receive the Mk 38 Mod 2 (thru BAE/Rafael), the Mk 46 station (thru ATK), the Laser guided Zuni (thru MBDA/Elbit) and Laser guided Hydra (APKWS II, thru BAE)…all are significant improvements in weapons systems with limited goals and big results.

    The NLOS-LS, if it is the best possible aformat for small missiles from the LCS, might well be revived for this Navy mission. An incremental improvement project for the NLOS-PAM might, as it has with the GMLRS, eventually result in significant improvements in range and capability (even reviving the LAM as the technology matures).

    I’ve been a skeptic about the potential of the NLOS-LS, especially with regards to the high cost per unit and the unproven (and then disproven) core capabilities of the system. But I was also skeptical about the initial, Army-lead, APKWS program…right through its cancellation and revival as APKWS II. But the progress made under Navy leadership on that project and efforts to place the Mk 38 Mod 2 on various fleet ships (including the PCs!) gives me hope that at least some officers are aware of the need to upgrade the core offensive capabilities of the fleet.

    While the Navy is also responsible for the failure of the ERGM (127mm rocket-boosted, guided round) program (and the rejection of the more limited and simple BTERM in favor of the ERGM), they clearly have an edge, as Bill mentioned, in the category of rocketry and similar systems.

    As for guns on the LCS…
    If the Mk 46 Mod 1 (30mm gun) is not included as a standard armament or if it is stuck in the awkward position it holds on the LCS-1, then the LCS is better off with 2 Mk 38 Mod 2 units amidships (at the forward end of the walkway along the sides of the ship) and another 2 on the far corners of the landing zone. In an ideal world, those aft mounts might be Millennium gun CIWS, but this world is not ideal and I’d happily settle for the latest Mk 38s.

    As Eric Palmer mentioned earlier, one could readily (with aid from Rafael) modify these gun mounts to bear 2 SPIKE-ER or LAHAT missiles (or several APKWS rockets). While it would be excessive to have such systems mounted on the Mk 38 RWS stations at all times, it would be a useful reserved capacity–just have the rounds, launchers and installation kits stowed on resupply ships and at forward ports for rapid installation–in case the existing, large USN ships need to make a contested passage through the waters off of Iran (or in similar small boat threat environments).

  15. Bill permalink
    April 26, 2010 5:31 am

    An odd twist, this whole NLOS thing. Historically speaking, most of the systems with parts that go ‘pfffft’ before they go ‘bang’ have been developed and managed by the USN rocket and missile folks, regardless of whether the Army was going to be the largest end-user or not. The Hydra-70 rocket system is a good example of that and, if I’m not mistaken, Navy is still the CFA for the production of that system, almost 25 years after it went in to production.

    So for the NLOS, it appears that the USN was absent in the technical side of the program and passively waiting for an all-Army development program to succeed? I don’t know that, mind you..just curious if that is, in fact, the case.

  16. April 26, 2010 4:58 am

    The only thing that this points out is that U.S. Navy planning in this capacity is as dumb as a brick. The only thing that could save the U.S. Navy from ship-building ruin are new leaders.

  17. Marcase permalink
    April 26, 2010 1:57 am

    Solomon –
    “has anyone ever studied how small boats are successful against larger ones?”

    Oh yes, with devastating effect –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

    For NLOS-LS, read Mk.56 GMVLS w/32 ESSM. ESSM has a surface attack capability, and may even be cheaper than NLOS-LS.
    Does need a radar though, and that means a SPY/AEGIS-variant.

    On hypothetical Burke ‘Flight IV’ NGFS ships; the Army’s NLOS-Cannon is a lightweight 155mm autoloader, which might be light enough to be installed aboard ship (shock-travel issues aside).

    Alternatively, the (heavier) long-barrel, automated KMW 155mm Donar can fit on an MLRS ‘flatbed’, so perhaps that one can be considered as well.

    Throw in RAP/Base-bleed and MRSI, and *shazam* – NGFS.

    I’ve said it elsewhere; against small boats – 57mm/76mm/127mm airburst munitions.

  18. Matthew S. permalink
    April 26, 2010 12:25 am

    I really dont see how those NLOS missile were supposed to be against small boats in the first place. Why on earth would you use a $466,000 missile on a small boat? It seems the we should have small patrol boats and corvettes similar to the South Koreans armed with a few 76mm cannons and 40mm cannons.

    Also, I am not sure what all the discussion of Naval Gunfire is about. The current and future risks are supersonic anti-shipping missiles, proliferation of submarines, mines and small boat swarms.

  19. April 25, 2010 8:37 pm

    has anyone ever studied how small boats are successful against larger ones? they only survive if they hang close to shore and are able to dart out and launch their attacks.

    it worked in WW2 as evidenced by our PT boats against the Japanese. but since then the only evidence that we have that small boats will be effective against large one is a counter insurgency at sea…and that is mixed with a big dose of surprise attack.

    alot of people like to point to the Israeli ship that was hit by a C-802. well that was shore launched. the Israeli ships sensors weren’t operating at capacity.

    you want to point to the Cole incident? it was a surprise attack which was conducted by a civilian ship against a US vessel that was not at battle stations.

    so to make a long story short, no the Iranians will not be able to sink the LCS easy.

    they’ll probably get their butts kicked just with the weapons fit that we’ve already seen….a 57mm, two 30mm cannons…plus the ability to mount 50 cals all around the ship??? Iranian small boats are on their way to 72 virgins. but that’s not the point … the LCS is suppose to be more than a small boat killer. that’s where the disappointment lies (at least for me).

  20. April 25, 2010 7:15 pm

    I’d rather see something like the Israeli Spike-ER and more guns if the goal is to fight off other small boats. Fact is, if the LCS ever went into the Persian Gulf, small Iranian boats (suicide or otherwise) would sink the LCS; easy.

  21. April 25, 2010 7:05 pm

    Anything is possible if you are willing to lower your expectations. Cut our losses and give the existing LSC to the Coast Guard.

  22. April 25, 2010 5:30 pm

    Marcase expanded on an idea stated here. If we can have an anti-missile Burke then why not a NGFS Burke?

    Take 8 of them, apply 155mm cannons, rocket propelled shells and there you have it! Those along with the DDG-1000 should be all we need. And the Navy gets to keep faith with its bigger brother (USMC).

  23. April 25, 2010 5:21 pm

    Outside the box thinking would have me pushing for Sea Fighters with MLRS boxes on that huge flight deck and the ability to carry 20 mission modules inside.

    :))

  24. jkt permalink
    April 25, 2010 5:20 pm

    If it was an urgent project there is no reason we can’t have guided Excalibur type shells for DDG-51s. It just takes money. It’s a solved problem @ 155mm and there’s been a # of failed 127mm R&D programs. But it’s just a money issue. We have 120mm guided mortars (APMI) headed to Afghanistan this fall. ATK’s PGK has been tested with 155mm and 105mm shells. There is no reason why every DDG-51 can’t have precision rounds.

    It just hasn’t been urgent. But with only 3 DDG-1000s being built and LCS having no NLOS — a precision round for existing DDG-51 guns has become much more urgent.

  25. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 25, 2010 5:09 pm

    Solomon,

    If the three Zumwalt class DDGs are technology demonstrators, then how long will it take to re-design their weapons and place them on other classes of warships? Given how the USN, DOD, and Congress have acted over the last two decades – then I would suggest and project that it would take 15, 20, 25, or even 30 years to implement such weapons into widespread use in useful numbers.

    And back to just those three DDG-1000 hulls. Recall at the start of WW-II the USN had just seven fleet type CVs in service: Lexington, Saratoga, Ranger, Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet, and Wasp. By the Fall of 1942 there were only three left: Ranger in the Atlantic; Saratoga and Enterprise in the Pacific. A few merchant conversions to CVEs became available in 1942 but they couldn’t operate as fleet carriers. Why bring this up? Well, what if the balloon goes up while we’ve just received only those three DDG-1000 hulls to operate as NGFS platforms. And what if some SSK(s) wreck(s) one or two of them? What then? Methinks it’s time to think a bit more outside the box.

  26. April 25, 2010 4:36 pm

    Good point D.E. but I’m really looking at the DDG-1000 as a tech demonstrator. If they can make those weapons work then I can see them being spread out over the fleet. That along with the electrical generators can make fire support available on any number of other ships.

    Besides. We can do the DDG-1000’s like the Perry’s. Ride’em hard, Ride’em fast and put’em up wet!

  27. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:34 pm

    Solomon,

    There’s one single, GLARING problem with relying upon the DDG-1000 class for the NGFS mission. There are only three of those hulls being planned to be built. That’s just six 155 mm gun tubes. And you might have to be lucky to have even one of the three available for a mission in a particular place on the globe.

  28. April 25, 2010 4:22 pm

    I’m sorry but I have to agree with DesCorp. If the NLOS is too expensive for the Army then how can we hope for a cheaper outcome for the Navy?

    If the NLOS isn’t available for the LCS then what good is the LCS? I can get high speed transport on the JHSV. We’ll burn out the hulls but we can get Naval Fire Support from the DDG-1000. Time to scrap this, rethink the idea and only then move forward.

    Courage to cancel has to be part of the effort too.

  29. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:21 pm

    DesScorp,

    As I am sure Scott B. will remind us, the Absalom class Command and Support (C&S) frigates cost less than $300 million apiece. There shouldn’t be any need to budget $600 million for close USN copies of the Absalom design. But, of course – if they are built in US yards then they’ll end up costing $1.2 billion, apiece.

  30. DesScorp permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:01 pm

    OK, it’s gotta be said now; cancel the LCS program, both designs. I’ve joked over at Cmdr. Salamander’s blog that the LCS is a glorified speedboat with the armament of a Coast Guard Cutter and the price of a blue water frigate, and that pretty much sums things up. Just license the Absalom design already. If you’re going to spend $600 million dollars, at least buy a real warship.

  31. ArkadyRenko permalink
    April 25, 2010 3:33 pm

    I don’t understand the glee at the canceling of the NLOS. It is a brilliant idea, perhaps before its time.

    People have said, you should use the Israeli weapons, the IAI Jumper or MBDA FireShadow. However, the NLOS-LS’s skill set was unique. It was supposed to autonomously find its target and then attack. The other two weapons do not have that capability.

    The NLOS-LS, with its autonomous terminal attack, would have been perfect for dealing with swarming attackers. The reconnaissance UAV only needed to locate the target group, and the NLOS-LS would have done the rest.

    It appears, that autonomous attack capability is what didn’t work, that was too expensive and too unreliable.

    What I am disturbed by is the army’s reasoning. They wanted to cancel the contract for the weapon, because it wouldn’t be able to be fielded in a year. Why couldn’t the army just put this weapon onto the back burner and say, we’re going to wait some time for this to work, so lets let development continue? This seems to be a victory of short sighted goals, we need it tomorrow, over the long term benefit.

    Autonomous loitering munitions will be extremely useful, and that technology has to be developed sooner or later. Might as well keep working on it, even in a slow and long term sense.

  32. jkt permalink
    April 25, 2010 3:07 pm

    I bet the Navy will pick up the funding. The rockets-in-a-box idea is a good idea. And the Navy needs this more than the Army. The Army has lots of precision weapons these days – like GMLRS and Excalibur. With more on the way like APKWS (70mm guided Hydras), APMI (120mm guided mortar), and PGK (gps guided artillery fuzes). So the NLOS cost increases have made it uncompetitive with other precision options the Army has.

    The LCS doesn’t have many options. It needs a working rockets-in-a-box system or it needs a re-design. It’ll be cheaper to fund NLOS to completion than redesign it for VLS. Which is what I expect the Navy to do.

  33. D. E. Reddick permalink
    April 25, 2010 2:44 pm

    Mike,

    If you haven’t yet done so, then read this thread over at Solomon’s SNAFU! It’s about the failure of NLOS, LCS characteristics and that program’s potential failure, and your SLOOP concept! Solomon references the Breaking News section at New Wars in an update to his original posting.

    LCS without NLOS? What good is it!

    http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/2010/04/lcs-without-nlos-what-good-is-it.html

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