The next step for the two-man, FCS XM1203 Non-Line-Of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) proto-type is the unmanned test firing of 500 155mm rounds in early 2009. This is designed to obtain safety release for manned firing before transferring several vehicles to the Army’s Evaluation Task Force, part of the 1st Armoured Division for operational evaluation in 2010. Low-rate initial production is planned for 2011.
The vehicle’s hybrid – electric powered design, is based around an MTU diesel together with Honeywell drive motors, QinetiQ drives and Saft batteries. To meet exacting weight requirements, the barrel had to be cut from L39 to L38 resulting in a reduction in range and a drop in the number of rounds carried to just 24, which it can fire in just four minutes of sustained fire and will be supplied by a truck mounted palletized load.
The NLOS-C is said to be able to fire the first four rounds in as many seconds and using the latest Excalibur precision round, can reach up to 35Km. NLOS-C has a goal of service entry of 2017 and has common features across the FCS Manned Ground Vehicle fleet.