- Commercial Off-The-Shelf
- Flight Control System
- Future Combat Systems
- Indirect Fire Precision Attack
- Low Cost Loitering Carrier
- Ministry of Defence
- United Kingdom
The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) has made public its intention of
investigating the potential use of 'Low Cost Loitering Carrier' (LCLC) or
loitering munitions in the battlefield. For that purpose a research program has
been launched by the UK MoD.
The LCLC weapons would be used by British sea and land forces in future
scenarios. Such a weapons would be loitering over the battlefield for hours
before identifying and destroying enemy targets. A range in excess of hundreds
of miles (200-300 kilometers) as well as pinpoint accuracy are envisaged for
future UK loitering munitions.
The first aim of LCLCs will be to engage time sensitive targets in an affordable
way. Launched from sea or land platforms, LCLCs will remain on the conflict area
gathering information and relaying it back via secure data links to a rear
command station or forward deployed post. UK MoD pursues to get engagement
capability even against moving targets. LCLC program is expected to leverage
solutions developed under Indirect Fire Precision Attack (IFPA) program and vice
Overall, LCLC could carry additional payloads such as advanced sensors,
communications relay equipment or supplies for troops at the forefront in the
battlefield. Despite Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), LCLCs would be expendable
items that will not return once their mission has been finished. All weather and
day/night operation mode are also highly valuable capabilities for the UK MoD.
The LCLC program will last two years and will focus on a technology demonstrator
incorporating Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) technologies to draw a low cost
system available as soon as possible. To do so, SD(UK) Limited and other
UK-based companies have been selected by the MoD to conduct the LCLC
The sort of capabilities foreseen by the LCLC program are already under
development for the US Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. In recent
years, the US military fielded some weapon systems labeled with a certain
loitering capability, but LCLC seems to go further. Ultimately, SD(UK) will
demonstrate the feasibility of an advanced loitering system capable of
outperforming those pursued by the FCS.
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