XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System

Non-Line of Sight Launch System

NLOS missile launching from a CLU on the back of a truck
Type Self-contained missile launch system
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designer Lockheed Martin and Raytheon
Unit cost US$466,000 per missile
Produced Canceled
Weight 3,150 lb (1.58 short tons; 1.41 long tons)
Length 45 in (1.1 m)
Width 45 in (1.1 m)
Height 78 in (2.0 m)

CLU of 15 canistered missiles on truck, ship or ground

The Non-Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) was a self-contained missile launcher system that was under development by NETFIRES LLC, a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Each Container Launch Unit (CLU) holds 15 missiles, and a self-locating networked communications system. CLUs can be linked for coordinated launching, with the missiles fired and controlled remotely via autonomous vertical launch. The weapon is roughly 2 metres tall.

The program was cancelled early 2011. It was being developed for the United States Navy's Littoral Combat Ship, but has been criticised for performance issues. The Griffin missile has been recommended for use instead. NLOS-LS was to be used primarily on the United States Army's Future Combat Systems before it was canceled.


Two NLOS-LS CLUs loaded on a truck
Reloading a single missile

There were to be two types of missile used with NLOS-LS: the Precision Attack Munition (PAM) and the Loitering Attack Munition (LAM). The LAM was originally contracted to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, but the contract was terminated after costs rose and tests went poorly. As it stands now, the PAM is the only armament currently being designed for the NLOS-LS.[1]

Precision Attack Munition (PAM)

Used to attack vehicles, armor, bunkers, and other targets of opportunity. Uses 3 modes of guidance, GPS/INS, semi-active laser homing, and autonomous imaging infrared. Carries a multi-mode warhead effective against several types of targets. It also includes an online library of pictures of targets, so that it can visually identify what it is homing in on.


Loitering Attack Munition (LAM)

Designed to fly to a preset area and loiter while autonomously seeking out targets.


See also

The JUMPER missile system from Israel Aerospace Industries uses a similar concept, but with 8 missiles instead of 15 and without the IR seeker.[16]


  1. NLOS-LS product sheet
  2. "Raytheon PAM Lockheed Martin LAM (NetFires NLOS-LS) - Designation Systems".
  3. "Raytheon Precision Attack Missile makes first guided flight - Raytheon PR". Raytheon.com. 2002-11-18. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  4. Lockheed Martin, Netfires Llc Successfully Conduct Loitering Attack Missile Boost Vehicle Test - Lockheed Martin PR
  5. NetFires LLC Precision Attack Missile Launch Paves the Way for Complete System Testing - Netfires LLC PR
  6. John Pike (2007-06-28). "NetFires LLC Conducts Successful Warhead Demonstration for Precision Attack Missile - NetFires LLC PR". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  7. "NLOS-LS Team Completes First Test Of Missile Fired From Container Launch Unit". Spacewar.com. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  8. "NetFires NLOS-LS makes advancement". Upi.com. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  9. "Challenges Ahead For NLOS-LS". Aviationweek.com. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  10. "Army asks to cancel NLOS-LS". Armytimes.com. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  11. "Army modernization | Capabilities". Bctmod.army.mil. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  12. "Committee shifts NLOS R&D funding to Navy". Armytimes.com. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  13. Corrin, Amber (2010-05-14). "Embattled missile program meets its demise". Defensesystems.com. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  14. ""Gates Reveals Budget Efficiencies, Reinvestment Possibilities."". Defense.gov. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  15. "Army NLOS Dead. Will the Navy Keep it Alive?". Defense-update.com. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  16. "IAI Unveils JUMPER Missile for Urban Warfare". Israelnationalnews.com. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
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