LIMAWS (R) or the LIMAWS rocket system
is capable of supporting rapid intervention and manoeuvre support
It fires the latest (GMLRS) guided munitions in order to defeat
both area and precision targets at long-range.
The system will give UK light forces a major advantage on the
battlefield, that can be transported by the C-130 Hercules,
Chinook helicopter, assault landing craft and the future A400M
The LIMAWS platform is based on a six-wheeled, four-wheel drive
Supercat vehicle and a self-loading launcher mechanism
manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
GMLRS rockets contain Global Positioning System (GPS) elements and
the latest advanced computer technology giving them accuracy out
to a range of over 60 kms. Armed with a 200 lb (90 kg) high
explosive warhead which carries a payload of 404 Dual Purpose
Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) submunitions, the improved
missile can engage more targets with a lower risk of collateral
damage and with a smaller logistical burden.
The overall programme is worth over £250million and will see the
UK take delivery of several thousand rockets by the end of the
decade. The GMLRS rocket has been developed by a five-nation
collaboration of the UK, France Germany, Italy and the US.
Following a series of successful trials the Guided Multiple Rocket
Launch System (GMLRS) was declared fit for deployment with UK
troops in Afghanistan in 2007.
The Light Mobile Artillery Weapon System (LIMAWS(G)) 155 mm
Ultralight Field Howitzer (UFH) is a new equipment to provide an
increased capability for the Royal Artillery, supplementing the
AS90 and the Light Gun. The provisional in-service date is 2009.
The probable UK system is a development of the US M777 which is
entering service with the US Army and US Marine Corps. BAE Systems
has developed a mobile version of the gun (M777 Portee) which is
mounted on a customised 8 x 6 Supacat platform.
The M777A1 is usually operated by a crew of eight. If necessary
the gun can be operated with a detachment of five.
It is expected that the weapon selected to meet the LIMAWS(G)
requirement will enter service later this decade (possibly 2009)
and up to 32 systems will be required. The total acquisition cost
for the LIMAWS systems is £750 million.