Remote controlled weapon stations were also a popular exhibit in this year’s Eurosatory, addressing new lessons learned on asymmetric counter guerilla warfare in urban area.
New systems were unveiled by FN Herstal (Arrows 300), Bofors (LEMUR), IMI (Wave-AS) and Oto-Melara (HITROLE), joining companies such as (IWS-10), RAFAEL (RCWS), Kongsberg (Protector) and Thales which have already mastered this concept with operationally fielded systems. Most systems are offering semi-stabilized “soft” mount for precision firing, high elevations for engaging targets in urban scenarios electrical operation with and mechanical override for critical functions. Etc.
While performing similar roles, the various systems types differ from each other in operational concept and man-machine interfaces, which reflect the customer’s requirements or designer’s approach. Some aspects, such as firing accuracy, traverse and elevation servo speeds, and accuracy, deck penetration, ammunition capacity, reloading capability etc, reflect the operational and cost preferences such as weight and cost.
In general, two principal classes were demonstrated – the modular “strap-on” systems, utilizing servo-actuated soft mount, attached with electro-optical observation and aiming payload and control servos highlighting easier modification and adaptation to specific customer’s requirements and inherent growth potential. This class is represented by RAFAEL’s RCWS, IMI WAVE and Kongsberg Protector. The second class comprises fully enclosed systems, where sensors, payloads and weapons are covered by special casing, protecting them from environmental and ballistic threats. Most of the new systems shown here were the members of this class, including LEMUR, ARROWS-300, HITROLE and others.