Kongsberg has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to deliver a marinised version of the M153 common remotely operated weapon station (CROWS) to enhance precision capabilities.
Awarded in support of its remotely operated Stabilised Small Arm Mount (SSAM) weapon systems programme, the naval optimised CROWS system will enable sailors to safely operate an array of sensors and weaponry from inside a vessel.
Kongsberg Protech Systems North America business development vice-president Rune Johannessen said that the marinised version of the Protector M153 CROWS would be developed for the US Navy by leveraging the experience and lessons learnt from combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan with the land forces.
Capable of protecting sailors from hostile fire, the marinised CROWS will provide unique operational capabilities such as improved target interrogation and the ability to counter asymmetric threats while enhancing overall ship protection.
"The system increases engagement effectiveness and offers unmatched deployment flexibility across platforms and in any environment," Johannessen said.
Equipped with sensor package including a daylight colour camera, a thermal night camera (IR) and a laser range finder, the system will support missions ranging from harbour protection to littoral missions under all-weather, day and night conditions.
Enhancements to the naval CROWS include target tracking and comprehensive fire control to provide first-burst on target capabilities with minimising collateral damage.
Currently, the Kongsberg Protector M153 CROWS is installed in more than 30 different vehicles with several weapons and sensor options.
Under a framework agreement signed in late 2012, the company will provide the systems over the next five years to the US military for effective range and precision capabilities.
Image: The Common Remotely Operated Weapon System integrated with a M240 machine gun. Photo: courtesy of US Army PEO Soldier.