BAE Systems officials made the announcement at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) in Washington this week.
"The first firing of a cannon using an onboard power system is a significant achievement for our soldiers and the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Now we have a manned ground vehicle that can demonstrate its battlefield mission," says Mark Signorelli, vice president of Army Programs at BAE Systems. The system's predecessor, the NLOS Cannon Firing Platform, utilized a remote hardstand to support its firing.
The first round was fired by the same prototype the Army and the FCS One Team debuted on the National Mall in Washington in June of this year. The company took the prototype through final laboratory tests before it went to the Army test site in August. The NLOS Cannon program is on schedule for soldiers to begin user tests with the system and experience push-button firepower capability as early as next year, company officials say.
The NLOS Cannon is a fully automated, 155-mm, self-propelled howitzer being designed and built by BAE Systems, in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems and the FCS Lead System Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corp. The NLOS Cannon is an integral part of the FCS program and the lead vehicle in the family of eight FCS manned ground vehicles.
BAE Systems has two prototypes undergoing testing with four additional prototypes moving through the integration phase.
The first NLOS Cannon prototypes are being integrated at BAE Systems in Minneapolis, with major chassis development support occurring at the company's facility in Santa Clara, Calif. Integration will eventually move to Elgin, Okla.