WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) today announced that Boeing, BAE Systems and the U.S. Army have jointly chosen Elgin, Oklahoma as the site of the Army’s Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) integration center.
“I am excited to learn that after some delay, Elgin has been chosen as the site of the NLOS-C integration center. Elgin was jointly chosen by Boeing, BAE Systems and the Army because of its close proximity to Fort Sill, the home of field artillery, which will enable the vehicle to roll off the assembly line and onto the testing range without losing time or money in transportation. In 2004, as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, we reauthorized the Economic Development Administration, which made $2,250,000 available for the development of the Elgin Industrial Park. These funds helped spur the initial development of the facility for the NLOS-C. This will bring numerous jobs to the Elgin area and establish Southwest Oklahoma as the core of our nation’s next generation of field artillery.”
“I am proud to announce and support Boeing's decision choosing Elgin to host this facility. I am confident that the city of Elgin has the necessary resources and leadership in place to successfully be a part of the NLOS-C manufacturing program. In this new role, Elgin will develop vehicles that utilize ground-breaking developments in distance and precision strike technology. These advancements to military arms and transportation will ultimately ensure safer conditions for our soldiers to operate under. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I understand the importance of locally supporting the production efforts as the area prepares for the construction of the Elgin facility. "
The Elgin facility will be used to support production integration of the NLOS-C, an indirect fire support component of the Future Combat Systems (FCS). Initial prototypes of the NLOS-C will complete integration at the Elgin facility in the last quarter of 2008 with an anticipated NLOS-C early production quantity of 18 units from 2010 to 2012 (six per year). Follow-on production of NLOS-Cs will occur at a rate per year to be determined by the US Army.
The city of Elgin will determine the size of the new facility as they build the Industrial Park. The NLOS-C requirements are for 150,000 square feet. The facility will be used for NLOS-C, other related FCS integration, the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) Program, which will enable the Paladin (a current Army artillery piece) to meet the needs of the future battle field, and potential work outside of the FCS. Construction of the facility is set to start as soon as possible as the facility is needed no later than January 2009. Once Elgin completes integration of the NLOS-C, the vehicles will be sent to the Fort Sill range where they will finish their final integration step - live weapons fire.
Combat experience and extensive analyses have shown that the greatest threat to ground force survivability is indirect fire artillery. While air power, precision-guided bombs and missiles often receive all the glamour on the modern battlefield, cannon artillery still plays a critical role in today’s fight by serving as the only 24-hour, all-weather reinforcement for the infantry soldier – a fact proven in recent conflicts. The U.S. Army currently ranks behind several other countries in cannon artillery capabilities, and U.S. Army after-action studies from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan, and Desert Storm have exposed the critical need for the U.S. Army to have an advanced cannon artillery solution. The Army’s Future Combat System and the NLOS-C will return the United States Army to its status as a world leader in combat capability on, above, and around the battlefield.
Future Combat Systems (FCS):
Future Combat Systems is a revolutionary system at the core of Army modernization that includes a new family of manned and unmanned ground and air vehicles, sensors and weapon systems. FCS will provide soldiers with unprecedented levels of joint connectivity, situational awareness and lethality. It is designed to enable soldiers to see, understand and act first across the full spectrum of military operations, from pre-insurgency operations to full combat. FCS Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) will have twice as many soldiers mounted and under armor, increasing their survivability, while its networked sensors and weapons will allow them to locate and engage the enemy from greater distances. The NLOS-C will be the first FCS Manned Ground Vehicle to be produced.
The Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) will provide networked, extended-range, responsive and sustained precision attack of targets in support of the Brigade Combat Teams. The NLOS-C will be a self propelled howitzer with a two man crew. It will have a 155 mm, caliber cannon, a fully automated reloading system and a high level of commonality with other Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) variants to reduce operating costs. It will incorporate next-generation armor technologies, as well as a suite of protection measures to enhance crew and platform survivability. The NLOS-C will be able to move rapidly and deliver a lethal artillery strike on target in unprecedented time.