Line-of-Sight Antitank (LOSAT)
The Line of Sight Antitank (LOSAT) is a dedicated antitank weapon system capable of providing a high volume of accurate fires at ranges exceeding those of current tank main guns. The LOSAT Weapon System is the world's most powerful anti-armor system, with more than 170 production weapon systems planned during the 2006-2012 timeframe. Lockheed Martin, the leader in designing, integrating and producing anti-armor systems, will field LOSAT "pre-production" units to the Army's 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 2003 for testing. The LOSAT, billed as the 'sledgehammer solution for the anti-armor battle' was developed by Lockheed Martin to meet the needs of light infantry units.
LOSAT is designed to help light infantry forces be successful against heavy armor. LOSAT's range will enable it to fire against field fortifications, tanks and other heavy armor vehicles from outside a tank's main gun range. LOSAT is a dedicated antitank weapon system providing a high rate of extremely lethal fire at ranges exceeding tank main gun range, making it capable of defeating any known or projected armor system. LOSAT is a precision engagement system that enhances the Army's ability to dominate the ground maneuver battle.
The key attraction of LOSAT is the tremendous overmatch lethality of the KEM that defeats all future predicted armored combat vehicles. At first glance, the LOSAT system looks very similar to the standard Humvee. The four ready-to-fire missiles are housed on the top of the Humvee. The real difference is in the kinetic energy missile whose development was originally a joint Army and Air Force program in the early 1980s.
The Line-of-Sight Antitank consists of Kinetic Energy Missiles (KEM) and a second-generation FLIR/video acquisition sensor mounted on an air-mobile, heavy HMMWV chassis. A three-man LOSAT crew will use a specially adapted High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV, to launch a Kinetic Energy Missile. The LOSAT weapon system will help remedy the forced-entry/early-entry force lethality shortfall against heavy armor because it can deploy with both forces. The system is extremely mobile. The superior cross-country mobility of the HMMWV is not degraded by the addition of the LOSAT system to the vehicle. Additionally, the system can be moved across the battlefield by sling load with the UH-60L.
LOSAT is a dedicated antitank weapon system providing a high rate of extremely lethal fire at ranges exceeding tank main gun range, making it capable of defeating any known or projected armor system. The system utilizes a Heavy High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) heavy chassis, hypervelocity kinetic energy missiles (KEM), a second generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR/TV) acquisition sensor and has a crew of two. The LOSAT System carries four ready missiles via two two-pack containers. LOSAT can operate autonomously or with other systems using its digitized Command and Control capability.
As a key component of the combined arms team, LOSAT will be used as one of a number of weapon systems positioned in depth to engage enemy forces. Firing from concealed positions, from beyond enemy force's engagement range and rapidly displacing to alternate firing positions will greatly enhance survivability. LOSAT survivability is also enhanced by the combination of its mobility, it's near fire and forget capability, reduced signature and improved situational awareness.
The LOSAT Weapon System consists of an encased missile, missile shipping and storage containers, Fire Unit, support structure, reload system, Electro-Optical System (EOS), Target Acquisition System (TAS), Fire Control System (FCS) and Pulsed Laser System (PLS). The LOSAT will be mounted on an armament carrier, HMMWV (M1113), will have a three man crew, and carry four ready to fire Kinetic Energy Missiles (KEM). The KEM, a long rod tungsten penetrator, accelerates up to 5000 feet per second and has five times the kinetic energy of current tank rounds. Time of flight to maximum range is less than five seconds.
The Fire Control system (FCS) allows the gunner to acquire and track up to two targets simultaneously and engage them in rapid sequential fires. Once the gunner issues launch consent, the system automatically guides the missiles to the target. The gunner is assisted by the FCS, which tracks the missile to the target. The LOSAT also features controls and displays along with digital communications compatible with the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) System. The LOSAT can operate autonomously or on conjunction with other systems through FBCB2 or FM communications.
The LOSAT Weapon System provides the gunner the capability to recognize a target beyond the maximum effective range of the current TOW missiles, and will incorporate the following capabilities: embedded built in test/built in test equipment, automatic boresight, self defense weapons, and room for growth.
The LOSAT system has been designed for maximum sustainability. The system is equipped with on board materiel handling equipment for ease of reload. There is a bare minimum of crew maintenance to the system. Built in test equipment eliminates the need for any new test measurement or diagnostic equipment. Snap in and out line replaceable units will be evacuated to the rear.
The fire control system allows the gunner/commander to acquire and auto-track up to three targets. Once a launch consent is issued, the system automatically initializes and guides the missiles to the targets in a sequential manner. It is deployable on C-130 through C-5 aircraft including airdrop from the C-130. LOSAT has the requirement to be both airdropped from a C-130 or slingloaded under a UH-60L.
Initially, LOSAT was to be mounted on an extended length Bradley Fighting Vehicle. As a Technology Demonstration it was to be mounted on an Armored Gun System (AGS) chassis but when the AGS program was canceled, LOSAT was reconfigured to a HMMWV chassis. Developmental testing has been conducted using the fire control system to direct the kinetic energy missile at tank targets.
The Army will mount LOSAT on a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) chassis, as a supplemental anti-armor capability for light divisions equipped with tube-launch optically-controlled wire-guided and Javelin anti-tank systems. The basic organizational unit for LOSAT will be a five-man squad equipped with two HMMWVs and a high-mobility missile resupply trailer. One HMMWV, called the Fire Unit (FU), will be the LOSAT missile launch vehicle and will carry four ready-to-fire missiles. The fire control system in the FU is based on the Improved Bradley Acquisition System, which features an acquisition system using a second-generation forward-looking infrared sensor and a daylight TV. The resupply HMMWV will tow the resupply trailer, which will carry eight additional missiles. The system will be deployable by strategic and tactical airlift (C-5, C-17, C-130) and external air transport (via UH-60L and CH-47 helicopters).
The LOSAT equipped Expanded Capacity HMMWV has a combat weight of approximately 12,000 pounds. The system has an effective range of several miles and is "near fire and forget."
Testing at White Sands Missile Range, NM examined the launch effects of the LOSAT on an expanded-capacity HMMWV. Under developmental test conditions, the missile is capable of defeating any known tank it hits. Test firing of the LOSAT missile in a non-tactical configuration on top of a HMMWV has shown all launch effects to fall within the Army's acceptable ranges for human factor limits. Data gathered were extensive both inside and outside of the vehicle. Measurements were made of shock and g-load, on crash test dummies, and flash, toxic gases, pressure, and sound in and outside the vehicle. Numerous operational performance issues must be addressed in future testing - either within the ACTD or in subsequent formal OT&E covered by a TEMP.
The LOSAT program has been around since 1989, and was started an Army ACAT I system with oversight by DOT&E. In 1992, analysis by the Army caused the program to be reduced to a Technology Demonstration. In May 1994 the House Armed Services Committee directed the Army to make an early decision on whether it should continue or rapidly terminate the LOSAT program. The committee believed that since there was no foreseeable plan for LOSAT, cost savings could be achieved in fiscal year 1996 by early termination of the program.
LOSAT was canceled by the Defense Department as a budget decision in November 1996. The Army appealed, and the proposed weapon continued as a technology demonstration effort. LOSAT received final approval as an FY'98 Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) new start the week of 17 November 97. The ACTD will assess survivability of the HMMWV based system and develop a concept of operations (CONOPS) for survivability through deception. The ACTD will also demonstrate enhanced deployability/mobility with the ability to fire upon landing. In April 1998 Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Vought Systems, Grand Prairie, TX, was awarded a $5,000,000 increment as part of a $214,239,685 (total if all options are exercised, base year plus four option years) cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the LOSAT Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) Program, a 72 month research and development effort. This includes five years of development plus two years for extended user evaluation. The LOSAT ACTD will stretch over the 4-5 years; however any additional funding can shorten that timeline.
The LOSAT system is in the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration phase of development. Previous tests on the system were conducted at White Sands from 1991 to 1996. The LOSAT missile successfully met all its primary objectives during Risk Reduction Test No. 1 on 23 May 2001. The missile aimpoint was a point in space about 50 meters above the ground and about 5.6 km from the launch site. Some of the subsystems involved in this test included the optical head assembly head mirror stabilization, a new guidance electronics package and the Inertial Measurement Unit. Risk Reduction Test #2 was conducted in July. LOSAT is scheduled to begin Production Qualification Tests in fiscal year 2003. Testing during that phase likely will take place at White Sands Missile Range.
Although the Joint Requirements Oversight Council upgraded the program to an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) in 4QFY97, formal testing of the LOSAT remained severely limited. As a result of the ACTD, a LOSAT Company will activate in XVIII Corps, which will conduct testing with the Infantry School. The first tactical LOSAT unit will be A Company of the 5-11th Parachute Infantry Regiment. After testing, these soldiers are to receive 12-13 fire units and 144-178 tactical missiles by April 2003. This hardware will remain with the soldiers for the two-year extended user evaluation after the demonstration. Testing is expected to resume in 2002. Three demonstrations are scheduled: tactical deployability at Fort Bragg in June 2002; lethality live-fire at White Sands Missile Range, NM, in September 2002; and a force-on-force operational assessment at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, in June 2003.
In October 2002 Lockheed Martin delivered its first Line-of-Sight Antitank (LOSAT) Weapon System Fire Unit, a lightweight system for transformation forces, to the U.S. Army in a ceremony today at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This was the first of 12 LOSAT Fire Units that will be delivered to the Army as part of the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.
The survivability of the overall system is an issue according to the DOT&E. The Program Manager chose to trade some ballistic protection for enhanced deployability (to ensure that the LOSAT system remains sling-loadable from a UH-60L helicopter). The LFT&E program will assess the degree to which the LOSAT system, including the missile, both HMMWV vehicles, and the loaded trailer, is vulnerable to the expected threats. This program describes critical vulnerability and lethality issues and the scope of testing needed to address them, including the need for more than one FU for full-up, system-level LFT&E to support the planned full-rate production decision.
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