Monday, August 27, 2007

Army orders 6,500 remote turret-gun controls

Above: Marines of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment move through a town in Anbar province in July. The turret gunner position has been particularly vulnerable to snipers.

The Army plans to spend more than $1 billion dollars on a computerized weapons system designed to take turret gunners out of the kill zone.

The $1.4 billion contract the Army awarded to Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace Aug. 21 will buy 6,500 Common Remotely Operated Weapons Stations over the next five years.

Despite numerous improvements to vehicle armor, soldiers are still required to man crew-served weapons in highly vulnerable turrets of Humvees and other armored security vehicles.

Their heads stick up out of the top of the vehicles, exposing them to sniper fire and shrapnel from homemade enemy bombs.

The CROWS allows the soldier to control the turret weapon with a joystick and a computer screen from relative safety inside the vehicle and shoot with near-perfect accuracy.

Read the rest at Army Times