NetFires LLC, aLockheed Martin
company, has received $54.8m for the design and development of the Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System for US Navy Littoral Combat Ships.
‘This contract action brings a truly joint effort between the Army, Navy and the LLC to develop a common launcher that can fire the Precision Attack Missile and later accept future missile variants to meet current and future requirements for both services,’ said Colonel Doug Dever, Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System project manager. The Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System is the Precision Attack Missile fired from a vertical launcher that can be deployed by air, ground or sea assets to quickly engage an enemy target.
The Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System, consisting of the Precision Attack Missile and Container Launch Unit, has been selected as a surface warfare weapon for the Littoral Combat Ships, the US Navy's next generation surface combat craft. The Precision Attack Missile and Container Launch Unit will be the ship's premier engagement capability against surface threats such as small moving boats. The Navy expects to build in excess of 50 Littoral Combat Ships with the first ship, USS Freedom, being commissioned in 2007. The Non Line-of-Sight-Launch System is slated for integration into the USS Independence in 2008.
The Precision Attack Missile is said to be a low-cost direct attack missile that is seven inches in diameter and weighs about 117 pounds, and will provide a wide range of support up to 40 kilometres. It will include a variable thrust solid rocket motor, dual-mode uncooled infrared/semi-active laser seeker, and a multi-mode warhead. Two-way data links on the Precision Attack Missile will provide for re-direction while in-flight and down-linking of images.
‘This advanced weapon system now provides the US Navy and its allies with the ability to have a single system solution to counter the asymmetric swarm attack threat that exists today, while supporting troops ashore with precision engagement and minimisation of collateral damage,’ added Scott Speet, NetFires LLC vice president.