$68M Provides Remotely-Operated Machineguns for Vehicles
Recon Optical Inc. in Barrington, IL received a $68 million firm-fixed price contract for 230 common remotely operated weapon stations (CROWS). Recon Optical’s equipment lets a vehicle’s crew remotely aim and fire its weapon while remaining inside, and mounts to both HMMWV variants and the M1117 Guardian ASV. CROWS is currently deployed on the battlefields of Iraq, where it has drawn positive reviews from soldiers in the field.
The CROWS system is versatile and modular, incorporating the latest technology in stabilized, remotely controlled weapon mounts, optical and thermal sensors, ballistic fire control, lasers and digital video processing capabilities…
It can mount weapons such as the M2 HB .50-cal Machine Gun, Mk19 40-mm Automatic Grenade Machine Gun, M240B 7.62-mm MG(Machine Gun) and M249 5.56-mm Squad Automatic Weapon. CROWS is a two-axis stabilized (azimuth and elevation) gunner-operated weapon system, permitting the gunner to effectively engage targets from a moving vehicle. The mount is also capable of continuous 360 degree azimuth rotation and -20 to +60 degree elevation.
The system’s sensor unit includes a daylight video camera, a thermal imager for night operations, and an eyesafe laser rangefinder, and is furnished with a fully integrated fire control system that provides ballistic correction.
The system’s control group, which mounts inside the vehicle, is the gunner interface allowing operation from within the vehicle’s ballistic protection. Its main components include a display unit, Switch Panel Unit (SPU), and hand controller (joystick). The control group provides full remote control of the weapon system via on-screen menus presented on the display, and by the switches on the SPU and joystick.
Work on this contract will be performed at Barrington, IL and will be completed by April 30, 2006. The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Picatinny Arsenal, NJ issued the contract (W15QKN-05-C-1209).
- DID (May 17/06) – CROWS: Public Videogame Turns Into Weapon Trainer. Crows works a lot like a video game. So why not use a videogame to train, well, everybody…
- Army News Service (May 15/06) – Tank Unit Fields Remote Weapons System. Members of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Bliss recently became the first U.S.-based unit to have the CROWS, and the only unit in the world (so far) to have it mounted on M1 Abrams tanks. It may be part of the M1A2 TUSK Tank Urban Survival Kit.