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Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System

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NLOS-LS test-firing a PAM

As part of the cancelled Future Combat Systems (FCS) of the U.S. Army, and designated the XM501, Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) combines a lightweight launcher with Precision Attack Missiles (PAM), which have both LOS or short BLOS modes as well as a boost-glide trajectory mode. One of its roles is to bring long-range strike to Infantry and Special Operations Forces, which do not have long-range precision fires capability without augmentation from artillery or air support.[1] Even though the FCS has been cancelled, some work continued on this system. Interest turned the the U.S. Navy and use of the system in a surface-to-surface missile mode for the Littoral Combat Ship. It appears, however, that NLOS-LS will not be used, in favor of the lighter and cheaper Griffin missile.

It gets targeting information during and after launch, can follow laser designation, or use autonomous sensors. As opposed to current battlefield missiles, the PAM can transmit near-real-time information in the form of target imagery prior to impact, simplifying post-strike assessment.

It was scheduled as part of FCS Spin Out 1 Limited User Test (LUT) for the summer of 2009. Successful completion of the LUT would be needed for the planned NLOS-LS deployment to an Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2011.


  1. Future Combat Systems project office, United States army (July 14, 2008), U.S Army Successfully Launches Non-Line of Sight-Launch System Precision Attack Missile