Artillery: September 19, 2003


Although the Crusader 155mm self-propelled artillery vehicle was cancelled last year, Congress demanded that a replacement be designed and ready for service by 2008. In response, United Defense Industries spent six months putting together a working prototype of what the Pentagon is calling the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (or NLOS-C for short, a new low in dumb names for weapons systems). The prototype was assembled around components from a M777 towed cannon, mounted on an unidentified armored chassis. The system used Crusader's automated ammunition loading system, including the magazine holding 24 shells. The engine is a band-track system propelled by a hybrid electric diesel engine (which provides better mobility and lower fuel consumption.) The vehicle ended up weighing about twenty tons. The prototype vehicle has fired a test round successfully and will be driven at least 800 kilometers by the year. 


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