Guardian System (RGS)
BAE Systems introduced at MDM 07 a belly-mounted remotely controlled
weapon system designed to protect V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft.
The airborne installation provides a unique application, sofar
unavailable for airborne platforms. RGS, designed to be belly-mounted
on the V-22, is the first remote weapon system capable of delivering
accurate, sustained fire throughout the aircraft's entire flight
envelope. It features a compact, retractable design saving valuable
aircraft cabin space and was designed to be completely compatible
with the V-22's avionics suite.
RGS uses a separate target acquisition turret and stabilized
weapon mount, both are retracted in stowed position, deployed
only when required. According to BAE Systems, RGS is the first
remote weapon system capable of delivering accurate, sustained
fire throughout the entire V-22 flight envelope . Because it
receives input from the aircraft's vehicle management system,
it can maximize the potential fields of fire during all stages
of flight, regardless of aircraft configuration. Similar to
modern fighter aircraft, the system's use of a continuously
computed impact point (CCIP), enables the gunner to simply 'point
and shoot' at the target, while the weapon control computer
adjusts the weapon, compensating for wind-and-vehicle motion.
RGS could be installed in existing V-22s without any change
to troop carrying capacity. In recent stability testing at Camp
Ripley, Minnesota, RGS mounted with a GAU-17, 7.62 mm mini-gun
was assembled on a moving land vehicle test platform. The testers
demonstrated the weapon's accuracy, based on its three-axis
stability and control being the foundation of the RGS and a
core capability of BAE Systems.
"RGS performed admirably in the tests, demonstrating accurate
fire on-the-move," Clark Freise, vice president of defense
avionics for BAE Systems, said when introducing the system at
the Modern Day Marine Expo in Quantico, Virginia. "Due
to the support and feedback we received from the Marine Corps'
requirements and user communities, we are now launching RGS
as a mature system." BAE Systems, which has been working
with the user community to develop and demonstrate this capability
since mid-2005, is planning to make the system available for
installation beginning in the third quarter of 2008.
Unmanned Turret Weapon Station
Elbit Systems's EFW subsidiary demonstrated at MDM 07 the Unmanned
Turret concept designated UT-25-30, installed on a USMC Amphibious
Assault Vehicle (AAV). The turret mounts the M242 25mm automatic
cannon or the MK44 30 mm
cannon, both from ATK, and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. Demonstrations
of the UT25-30 were recently performed for the USMC on LAV-25
and the AAV. The overhead unmanned turret has several advantages,
since it does not require any roof penetration, preserves valuable
internal space (in the AAV example) or clearing significant
internal space in the LAV-25, by removing the original manned
turret. Maintained at an optimal position about three feet above
deck (960-983 mm) the weapon-mount offers high elevation and
depression angles - an important factor for urban engagement.
An innovative folding mechanism reduces the system's height
to 1.5 ft (about 50 cm) maintaining low silhouette and assuring
transportability in C-130 Hercules aircraft.
Elbit System's subsidiary EFW recently won its first major
US order for remotely operated weapon station - the company
will supply 450 overhead remotely controlled weapon stations
(ORCWS 7.62) to be operated by the loaders on US Marine Corps
M1A1 tanks. Designated Improved Loader's Weapon Station (ILWS)
by the US Marines, the systems are mounted as 'add-on' to the
turret roof, without penetration required into the vehicle's
deck. It maintains a low silhouette and its fully stabilized
weapon and sensor mount and soft recoil mechanism, offering
high accuracy fire. The lightweight (<95 kg net weight, without
weapon or ammo) electrically operated system mounts an M240B
machine gun and 690 rounds (upgradable to 1150).
eloading can be performed in less than a minute. The weapon
is operated remotely from inside the tank facilitating weapon
aiming, firing, charging and stoppage clearing.
ILWS uses an uncooled thermal viewer, developed specifically
for this application. A similar system is currently being evaluated
to equip the Israeli Merkava Mk4 tanks.
Caliber UltraLight (SCUL)
The Small Caliber UltraLight (SCUL) weapon station from Precision
Remotes was developed as follow-on to the TRAPS
T-250D currently operated with the US Marine Corps. The
lightweight, quick installation mount weighs only 55 lbs (25kg)
and can be mounted on a tripod, vehicle or an nmanned ground
vehicle (UGV). The system supports several weapons including
the M249 SAW (Minigun), M240B machine gun (with 400 rounds of
ammunition) and 0.50 cal
M82A1M/M107 (Barret) anti-material weapon. SCUL is carried and
operated by a single soldier using a lightweight controller
weighing 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg). The operating system supports up
to three store/recall target locations and uses ballistic correction
for aiming adjustment, compensation for ammunition type, range,
cant, tilt and camera parallax. Its drive mechanism enables
360 deg. movement. Fine adjustment in azimuth and elevation
is also provided for gun laying. Traversing at a rate of 140
deg/second and elevating at 40 deg/sec. SCUL can be integrated
with on-board or external sensors to
facilitate Slew-to-Cue operation. Typical optronics include
a daylight zoom CCD video camera and a thermal or image intensified
sensor for night operation. Mechanical lockouts are used to
maintain safety margins.
Other topics covered in this review: