Elbit Systems and Mowag signed a contract valued at €44.8 Million (Approximately $58 Million) to equip 138 Mowag’s Pirhana III armored vehicles, destined for Belgium, with unmanned turrets monting 30mm automatic guns and electro-optical systems. The unmanned urret, known as ORCWS Overhead Remotely Controlled Weapon System is installed over the vehicle’s roof, and is remotely controlled by the gunner from within the vehicle, leaving much needed space inside the fighting compartment for troops, supplies and command and control systems.
The Belgian Army was one of the pioneers to select medium caliber (30mm) remotely operated weapon stations. It was later followed by further selections by Portugal, and the Czech Republic. In 2006 the Belgian MOD selected Mowag as prime contractor for the supply 138 Piranha III vehicles for the Program. The full scope of the program could reach 242 vehicles. Elbit Systems is cooperating with the Swiss company Mowag of the General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems Group to deliver the turrets and electro-optical fire control systems. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2007 – 2012.