- Common Remotely Operated Weapon System
The Common Remotely Operated Weapon System program, (CROWS or CROWS II) is a remote-control weapon system that provides the operator with theability to acquire and engage targets while inside a vehicle, protected by its armor. It isdesigned to mount on a variety of vehicle platforms and supports the MK19 GrenadeMachine Gun, .50 Caliber M2 Machine Gun, M240B Machine Gun, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.
uppliers for the CROWS program
After an open solicitation
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace( Kongsberg, Norwayand Johnstown, PA, USA) won the CROWS II contract with a variant of their M151 PROTECTOR, which is also used on the Stryker M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle. [ [http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2007/06-June/16-Jun-2007/FBO-01319609.htm fbodaily.com] ] [ [http://www.gao.gov/decisions/bidpro/310436.htm U.S. GAO - B-310436; B-310436.2, Recon Optical, Inc., December 27, 2007 ] ] KONGSBERG received a frame-contract of more than 1 billion USD for the delivery of up to 6,500 CROWS systems to the US Army and a first purchase order exceeding 300 million USD [ [http://www.kongsberg.com/eng/kda/products/dynamicsystems/RemoteWeaponStation/ Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace] ] In May of 2008 Kongsberg was awarded a $117 million contract from the U.S. Army for the delivery of additional CROWS systems.
CROWS specification highlights
The CROWS is composed of two parts: the mount which is fixed to the exterior of the vehicle and the control group. The mount is capable of 360 degree azimuth rotation and -20 to +60 degree elevation. It accepts a variety of crew-served weapons, including the M2 .50-cal Machine Gun, the Mk19 40-mm Automatic Grenade Machine Gun, the M240B 7.62-mm Machine Gun and
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The sensor unit includes a daylight video camera, a thermal imager for night operations and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. It is also furnished with a fully integrated fire control system that provides ballistic correction. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m101-crows.htm XM101 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)] ] The weight of the weapon station varies accordingly due to different armament modules: 74 kg light, 135 kg standard (including the naval version), and 172 kg for CROWS II.
The CROWS control group mounts inside the vehicle (behind the driver's seat on the
HMMWV). It includes a display, switches and joystick to provide full remote control of the weapon system. This enables the fighting crew to operate from inside armored combat vehicles, while still carrying out patrols, acquiring targets, and firing a variety of weapons more efficiently. [ [http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123019644 CROWS gets Airmen out of the turret] ]
The first RAVEN units as part of the first CROWS contract were fielded in 2004 in Iraq, employed by special forces, military police, infantry and transport units. So far, more than 200 units have been fielded. [ [http://www.tradoc.army.mil/pao/TNSarchives/January05/010305.htm Army Deploys CROWS] ]
CROWS is one of the weapons featured in "
* [http://peosoldier.army.mil/factsheets/SW_CSW_CROWS.pdf U.S. Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier description of the CROWS]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=rv2tPNdEfL0 Youtube video of Future Weapons: CROWS episode]
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