Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR May 2010 Contents 32 | Asia Pacific Defence Reporter
IN ADDITION TO RAFAEL, THE ISRAELI COMPANY ELBIT
HAS ALSO DEVELOPED OVERHEAD REMOTE CONTROLLED
WEAPONS STATIONS (ORCWS).
The company says that the common denominator in all of its remote
weapon systems is the ability to fully operate the weapon while under
cover and with hatches closed.
“Sur vivability is further increased by the optic sensors package
installed in every weapon station, as well as the complimenting 360
degrees, situational awareness, laser detection systems and other
sensors,” a company source said.
He added that based on in-house electro-optics, stabilization and
precision actuation technologies – and with over 30 years of experience
in fire control systems all of which are field proven - the company’s
range of weapon stations are among the most advanced in the market.
The Elbit systems ORCWS accommodates a variety of weapon calibers.
These include: 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50 Cal. – in addition to 40 mm
grenade launchers. These weapons are easily removable/installed in
the cradle by the soldiers in the field. Using dual-axis stabilization, the
weapon stations provide a high first round hit probability while on the
move and engagement of both static and moving targets. Elbit systems
people say that using both a day camera, a thermal night vision system,
a laser range-finder and a search light assures high accuracy in all
weather conditions and enables 24-hour a day operation. The electro-
optics sensor package ensures target detection (“See First”) at beyond
the maximum effective range of enemy weapons and enables quick
response to changing battle conditions.
This outstanding performance comes, with little increase in overall
Israel’s remotely controlled weapon stations have gone a long way
since they were first developed and are extensively combat-proven.
Judging from the development efforts in both companies and the
operational needs of the IDF, we can say with a high degree of certainty
that we will see more advanced systems in the near future. APDR
The RCWS provides a supreme level of self protection capability for crew
and vehicle and the HEL equips the operator with a powerful directed
energy weapon for stand-off IED neutralization.
The system is controlled by one operator through a user-friendly
interface, who decides which neutralization system (Laser or Machine
Gun) to use according to the target’s nature and the desired effect. The
system is designed to fulfill its function simply, quickly, accurately and in
a user-friendly manner. It can be operated day and night when using its
sighting systems, CCD cameras for daytime operations and FLIR sighting
system for night operations.
The Thor II system comprises an advanced fire control sub-system which
executes an automatic computation of the correction angles required in
order to hit the target accurately with the machine gun (depending on the
range) and also automatic computation of the focusing required for the
laser beam in order to achieve the optimal energy concentration at the
exact range at which the target is located.
The combination of the advanced fire control capability with the
user-friendly Man Machine Interface assures the optimal performance
of the system at all its operational ranges, without exposing the crew to
unnecessary dangers ensuing from the activation of the IEDs or UXOs
The Thor system has
been integrated to date on
the following platforms:
M113 APC, Up-Armored
LandRover, PUMA , an
IDF Combat Engin eering
Tank Chassis Based APC,
an d finally on the Cougar
6X6 Up-Ar mored US Army
The THOR II system can
be operated in either one
of the following modes
Safe mode in which it is
used for obser vation and
interrogation of a suspected
area. It can also carry out
range measurement by
using the integral Laser Range Finder (LRF). The range measurement is
necessar y for the optimal focusing of the laser beam, for the computation
of the ballistic fire correction for the MG and for computing the crosshair
correction due to parallax errors. When calculated, the range can be also
GUN mode – is used to operate the machine gun for target neutralization
or vehicle self-protection. It allows accurate aiming and firing of the
machine gun onto the target. It can fire either single shots or bursts of
pre-determined length. Then there is LASER mode – which is used to
neutralize targets by directed laser energy. The continuous power radiated
onto the target either burns a hole in the target casing and ignite the
explosive material inside or, when the casing is thick, heats the cover
material enough to produce the rapid cook off of the target. The exact
performance depends on target type and its distance from Thor.
Then there is designator mode – a function in which a green visible laser
is employed through the main laser optics. It helps to verify that the main
laser is actually aimed at the target before full power is applied and allows
nearby forces to help the operator locate the target.
The laser and MG can be operated while the WS moves – but the laser
effect can be achieved only when the vehicle is stationary and the beam is
held on a fixed position on the target throughout the neutralization.
To ease keeping the target on the operator screen while the vehicle
maneuvers - for example to optimize its neutralization position - a
stabilization state can be engaged. In this condition a gyroscope is used to
fix the pedestal azimuth and elevation in world coordinates.
In recent years Rafael has supplied the IDF with RCWS that have
been installed on fixed towers along the border with the Gaza Strip. This
application is now being evaluated by the US Army for defending sensitive
installations in Afghanistan.
Mini-Samson on an unattended ground
vehicle. Credit: Rafael
APDR May 2010.indd 32
1/05/10 5:16 PM
Links Archive APDR April 2010 APDR June 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page