|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
In the next few years the UK's Royal Artillery (RA) expects to field two new indirect fire weapons under its Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System (LIMAWS) programme. This is being run by the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA), Future Artillery Weapons Systems IPT and covers two systems, LIMAWS (Gun) and LIMAWS (Rocket).
There are two contenders for the first requirement. These are the Giat Industries CAESAR 155 mm/52 calibre system based on a 6 × 6 truck chassis and a new portee version of the BAE Systems Land Systems 155 mm/39 calibre M777 lightweight howitzer. LIMAWS(G) is required to provide close and deep fire support for light and medium forces including rapid intervention, air and littoral manoeuvre, in order to enhance force projection. Using company research and development funding, BAE Systems Land Systems has since early 2004 been developing a portee version of the M777 and the first example of this was completed early in 2005.
LIMAWS(G) is currently at the Assessment Phase (AP), which included a Request For Information (RFI), Synthetic Mobility Trials (SMT) and a Capability Assessment Trial (CAT).
These trials were used to assess the candidate systems against technical elements of the System Requirements Document (SRD). CAT took place in mid-2005 and included mobility, firing and user trials at a number of UK trials facilities including the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, Wiltshire, southern England.
The two systems tested by members of the Royal School of Artillery were the Giat Industries CAESAR and the portee version of the M777.
Main Gate (MG) Business Case for LIMAWS(G) is currently planned to be submitted in 2006, with a projected In Service Date (ISD) around the end of the decade. The total number of systems will be confirmed at MG but it is expected that 45 systems will be required.
INSYS (which was taken over by Lockheed Martin in late 2005) was awarded the two-year AP contract by the DPA for LIMAWS(R), which completed its initial firing trials in mid-2005. Details of this system are given in a separate entry.