Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have teamed to develop the US Army's NetFires missile system. Both companies' risk-reduction contracts will be rolled into the new NetFires limited liability company, which will pursue development and production of the Non Line of Sight-Launch System (NLOS-LS), part of the US Army's Future Combat System.

NLOS-LS consists of a loitering attack missile (LAM), a precision attack missile (PAM) and an autonomous container/ launcher unit. Both companies are under contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to demonstrate components of the system, including prototypes of the missiles and their common launcher.

Lockheed Martin has been working on the LAM, a turbojet-powered hunter-killer weapon with 45min cruise capability and laser-radar seeker with automatic target recognition. Raytheon has been working on the PAM, a 50km (27nm) range direct-attack weapon with a variable-thrust rocket motor, infrared/laser seeker and large multimode warhead. Both weapons share a 180mm (7in) diameter airframe, designed for vertical launch from a 15-cell container mounted on an all-terrain vehicle.

The firms say developing the systems together will enhance component and command-and-control commonality, reducing cost and accelerating delivery. The NLOS-LS system development and demonstration phase is to begin in 2004.

Source: Flight International