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Subject: Netfires fails missile test.
Hamilcar    4/23/2010 4:32:04 PM
US Army PAM fails to impress during tests Daniel Wasserbly Key Points The US Army's PAM missed four of six shots during a key test event Service planners are exploring new 'path-ahead options' for the missile, which is estimated to cost USD480,000 per unit The US Army's Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) precision attack missile (PAM) struggled significantly during a recent test that was intended to inform an upcoming acquisition decision. The PAM scored two hits and four misses in a 'flight limited users test' that concluded in early February. The event was held in the run up to a Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition review, scheduled for late March, to measure the weapon's progress and readiness to enter low-rate production. A DoD briefing slide on the test's results shows a PAM in its laser designate mode successfully hit a stationary T-72 tank and one in laser-anoint mode hit a moving tracked infantry vehicle. Both shots were fired at a range of 15 km. A PAM in laser-designated mode missed a stationary tank from 20 km when incompatible firing data caused it to go into an unarmed safe-mode, and another shot in laser-designated mode missed a stationary truck from 35 km due potentially to motor problems, the document said. In its infrared mode PAM missed a moving infantry vehicle from 10 km for reasons yet unknown. A stationary tank with jamming capabilities was missed from 30 km when a circuit card that controlled canard movement was thought to have failed, according to the slide. Another Pentagon document obtained by Jane's set the programme's baseline cost at a total of approximately USD480,000 per missile. This figure includes items such as training and logistics support but is relatively high compared to current, though less advanced, systems like AGM-114R Hellfire missiles that have a total procurement cost this year of about USD105,000 per unit, according to budget documents. Army spokesman Paul Mehney told Jane's the service is reviewing PAM's test results and plans to brief Pentagon weapons buyers on a "path-ahead option" for the programme based on technological maturity, on operational standpoints and on affordability. Mehney said options could include moving ahead as planned, modifying the programme or even cancelling it. NLOS-LS is meant to provide infantry, as well as sailors on Littoral Combat Ships, with the ability to engage moving targets from beyond their line of sight. The system was developed by NetFires - a Raytheon/Lockheed Martin joint venture - to function on a network as part of the now-cancelled Future Combat Systems (FCS) programme. The missile systems are planned to continue as part of the Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) Modernization effort that is set to begin fielding in 2011.
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Hamilcar    Further.....   4/23/2010 4:37:56 PM
Challenges Ahead For NLOS-LS

Feb 26, 2010

By Bettina H. Chavanne" align="left" height="150px" width="250px" alt="" />

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The failure of four of six shots from the U.S. Army?s Non Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) during recent testing could spell trouble for the Raytheon-built vertical launcher, which also is supposed to be fielded aboard the Navy?s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

Results from a Limited User Test (LUT) of the system, which ran from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., are currently under evaluation. The NLOS-LS?s surprisingly poor performance — attributed to a combination of operator error and technical failures — will be the primary topic of discussion during an interim Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) meeting in March. The DAB was slated to review Increment 1 capabilities of the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) program, of which NLOS-LS is an integral part.

Raytheon issued an official statement, that read in part, ?Of the six LUT flights, two were direct hits, two were misses with root cause known and corrective action implemented, and two were misses with root cause currently under investigation.?

The company noted that over the course of the program, the Precision Attack Missile (PAM) has fired 23 missiles with 14 direct hits. ?NLOS-LS is in the system design and development phase,? Raytheon said. ?We test in order to identify issues and quickly resolve them.?

The Army has three choices, according to BCTM spokesperson Paul Mehney: ?Keep [NLOS-LS] going, modify it or cancel it.? The Army?s big concern is that NLOS-LS fills an important capability gap. ?We don?t have an easily deployable guided missile system,? Mehney said. ?The operational factors of NLOS-LS are still necessary. The Army needs to determine the best path forward to work out any technical solutions that may come out as a result of the LUT.?

Photo: Raytheon
Even Raytheon can screw up.

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VelocityVector       4/23/2010 4:57:18 PM

Tri-modal == tres-problems in terms of Bayes.  This system is a national urgency.  Short-term, we need it to work more than most.  0.02


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Hamilcar    In both guidance and economics.   4/23/2010 5:24:58 PM
In plain English, three times the seeker modes means nine times the estimation problems in the guidance logic software, twenty seven times the opportunity for a software glitch or conflict among the different types of seekers, 19,683 times for a software hardware conflict through either wrong instruction tree or a bungled circuit layout, and a more than a half million times chance that the problem you run into, you won't even recognize immediately until; after a long expensive series of live fire tests to separate symptoms from causes..
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gf0012-aust       4/23/2010 5:32:22 PM
The USAF successfully trialed tri-seeker weapons 4-5 years ago on JDAM type weapons at 20-80km ranges.

The issue is whether the seekers are co-operating, concurrent or discrete

I don't see it as a show stopping problem, the background questions are what were the design reqs, what were the test parameters, were the probs able to be replicated etc....  and then compare the design issues with successful tri-seeker tests
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gf0012-aust       4/23/2010 5:34:07 PM
just to add, other successful tri-seeker tests have been conducted on moving targets.
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Hamilcar    Dead Meat.   4/25/2010 5:18:09 PM

NLOS-LS Dies; Just Cost Too Much

NLOS-LS Dies; Just Cost Too Much" />

By Colin Clark and Greg Grant Friday, April 23rd, 2010 2:52 pm
Posted in Land, Naval, Policy

The Pentagon is almost certain to kill the Non-Line of Sight Launch System, leaving little left of the once enormous Future Combat System and raising questions about how the Navy and Army will deliver highly accurate steel on distant targets.

?This thing just costs too much,? said a source familiar with the decision. ?It really has come down to affordability.? The technical side of the recommendation to kill the program came from two studies that considered the Army?s precision fire needs and capabilities. ?If you look at if from precision fires only we?ve got some helo rockets, Excalibur artillery, MLRS and precision mortars. But, can you get those into an environment that?s mountainous and difficult to get to and self deploy them and resupply them, then the answer is no. So if you look at it from the operational capability standpoint the waters get a little more muddied,? said the source.

As we?ve reported, the NLOS-LS failed miserably in its most recent series of tests, carried out earlier this year. This story was first reported by InsideDefense&S203;.com.

In 2004, the Army signed a six-year, $1.1 billion development contract for the NLOS-LS with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. That same year, the Navy signed a memorandum of understanding with the Army to buy the missiles for its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Taxpayers had spent $1.21 billion to date and we were on the hook for another $431 million for development and procurement in fiscal 2011.

The Army?s cancellation of the program could have serious implications for the Navy?s Littoral Combat Ship program as the NLOS-LS was to provide a substitute for the ship?s lack of vertical launch system cells — which can handle anti-ship, anti-aircraft or land attack missiles — that larger surface ships carry. The only weapon the LCS currently carries is single 57mm rapid-fire cannon that can range out to nine miles.

A decision should be made in the next week or so by Ash Carter and the Office of Secretary of Defense about the decision to cancel. The Navy is aware of the Army?s likely decision and probably would not oppose it, the source familiar with the debate said.

Analysts have pointed to the LCS? lack of organic fires as a serious shortcoming that might limit its operational effectiveness. One of LCS? primary missions is to screen battle fleets and help them fight off fast attack boat ?swarms.? That?s where the NLOS-LS was supposed to come in, with a Loitering Attack Missile that could range out to 124 miles.

The signs are not good.
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Hamilcar    KISS   4/25/2010 6:04:06 PM

IAI to Introduce the JUMPER -- A New Autonomous Artillery for the Ground Forces

Category: Exhibitions


BEN GURION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Israel -- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing the JUMPER system, a new autonomous artillery for the ground forces, at the 3rd Army & Defense Conference & Exhibition at Latrun, Israel." alt="JUMPER Autonomous Artillery" />
JUMPER Autonomous Artillery

The JUMPER is a missile that "jumps" out of a vertical launch hive to precisely strike targets at ranges of up to 50 Km

The JUMPER system contains eight canistered missiles and one integrated command and control unit that are arranged in each JUMPER 3X3 hive. Overall dimensions are: 1.4X1.4X2m. The system requires no operating crew and no special launching platform. Pinpoint accuracy and short time of flight make the JUMPER a perfect solution for the autonomous fire support to the Ground Forces.

The missile is 1800 mm long, has a diameter of 150 mm, and weighs 63 kg. The missile is equipped with a GPS/INS and 4 steering fins at its tail. In addition, the missile can home to a laser designation. The JUMPER system provides the maneuvering force commander with autonomous, immediate, and precise fire ? regardless of weather and visibility conditions.

Thus, a significant effect is achieved against a variety of target types, especially in urban operations where collateral damage is a major concern. The missile is armed with several possible warheads for fire missions that require prompt and accurate response.

Major General (Ret.) Eyal Ben-Reuven ? Deputy, Northern Command, during the 2nd Lebanon War, said: "The JUMPER's unique mode of operation is very relevant to the asymmetric warfare characteristics of the complex battlefield under which the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and other modern armies have to operate. The system, using the autonomous vertical launch hive, enables investment of 90% of the budget in the effect rather than in platforms and personnel."

With the development of the JUMPER system, IAI leverages its capabilities in the areas of missiles and C4 systems integrated into unique, precise and operational effectiveness to best serve the ground forces.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) is the largest aerospace and defense industry in Israel. IAI is Israel's largest industrial exporter and a globally recognized leader in the defense and commercial markets. IAI provides unique system-of-systems solutions for a broad spectrum of needs in space, air, land, sea, and homeland defense, including: unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), radars, mission aircraft, AEW, EW, ELINT/ESM, SIGINT, and COMINT/COMJAM, aerial refueling, Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missiles (ATBM), missiles, smart weapons, satellites and launchers, navigation, upgrading of military aircraft and helicopters, maintenance and conversion of commercial aircraft, and many other core technologies, products, and services.


Its a lot simpler than NLOS-VLS in that it either has a GPS impact point to which it steers, or a ground laser reflected light that it homes on (SALH), but the point is that it should work either way. Until the F^BARRED tri-mode seeker for PAM is sorted out in round two, that solution might work for us.    
But we have a slight problem......
He refused  a parts shipment for Israeli Apaches alr
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VelocityVector       4/25/2010 6:59:20 PM

We've probably already fixed the NLOS-LS motor and card flaws.  If the integration and software developers have effed up navigation and guidance then gift this work over to a player that can task a software A Team to the project and just pay the overage.

The Israeli product requires an aerial or ground-based lase to hit a moving target.  One at a time.  So I do not see it filling the interim gap or contributing enough value for the money out.

Aircraft are not adequate substitutes.  Our warfighters need to hit moving targets in cluttered vertical environments from beyond cannon range rapidly and in areas where aircraft with appropriate and quantity ordnance onboard them won't be available to respond quickly always.

What a pathetic result for the price of nearly a half F-22 squadron ... roll heads roll.


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VelocityVector       4/25/2010 7:23:42 PM

I don't know but will venture a guess why this system may need a costly redesign before it can work.  Based on the HUGE miss distance reported for some test launches, fundamental assumptions regarding how NLOS-LS gets positioned in space before the rocket pitches over are deeply flawed and this pervades the core navigation logic.  If true, a development team may need to start with the interfaces and build from there anew.  That would take a lot of time as well as money.  0.02


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Hamilcar    BINGO, got it in one.   4/25/2010 7:51:00 PM
The control guidance at L sub zero is screwed up.
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