Elbit Wins ORCWS Turret Orders
A number of countries buying new armored personnel carriers, or refurbishing old ones, are abandoning conventional turrets and/or top-mounted machine gun stations in favor of unmanned turrets with multi-spectral sensors (zoom camera, infrared/thermal, night vision, et. al.) and launchers for smoke grenades et. al. – all controlled from within the vehicle using a joystick and screen. While there are many competitors at the lower end of the Remote Weapons System field, Israeli firms RAFAEL (RCWS-30, wins include Czech Republic) and Elbit Systems (ORCWS-30, wins include Belgium) have also fielded higher-end offerings that pack 30mm autocannons with 7.62mm coaxial machine guns, and can add anti-armor and/or anti-aircraft missiles for extra punch. These systems add less weight than conventional turrets, don’t offer the same profile exposure, and can even fold flat for air transport.
On July 25/07, Elbit Systems announced a pair of contracts worth $55 million with Eastern European countries for its ORCWS systems…
Note that ORCWS stands for Overhead Remote Controlled Weapon System.
July 25/07: Elbit Systems announces a contract to supply overhead remote controlled weapon stations and unmanned turrets, as well as other electronic and electro-optical systems and components, for the Slovenian Armored Vehicle Program. They are working with Patria Oyj, whose AMV 8×8 vehicle won the EUR 278 million (about $367 million), 135 vehicle Slovenian contract. Elbit’s portion is valued at approximately $40 million, with deliveries scheduled to take place through 2011.
Elbit Systems will deliver laser detection systems along with their 30mm ORCWS 25-30 or ORCWS 12.7 (for 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns, or 40mm grenade machine guns) remote-control turrets on board Patria AMV 8×8 wheeled armored personnel carriers. The ORCWS 25-30 system includes a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, and can mount anti-armor missiles. See “Slovenian Army’s New APCs: Patria’s AMVs (updated)“.
July 25/07: Elbit Systems also announced a $15 million contract to supply unmanned turrets and electro-optic systems to Romania for its GD MOWAG Piranha III wheeled armored personnel carriers, with deliveries scheduled to be performed over the next three years. The Piranha III is the European designation for the LAV-III sold in North America, which equips the Canadian Army and is the basis for the US Army’s Stryker.
Elbit Systems’ portion of the program includes the delivery of ORCWS 12.7 unmanned turrets, as well as various electro-optic and electronic subsystems, including the DTV (Driver Thermal Viewer) and other systems. The majority of the work will be performed in Romania by Elbit Systems’ subsidiary Elmet International srl., with the collaboration of the Romanian company Pro-Optica S.A. Elbit’s July 25/07 release [PDF]