While remotely controlled combat modules (DBMS) with small-caliber guns have become an indispensable means of guaranteeing defensive firepower for most armored vehicles (from protected trucks to main combat vehicles tanks), medium caliber and their great range are claimed by patrols and advanced units in order to be able to destroy the enemy before he applies his weapon systems.
This is stated in the article of the publication Armada, translated by Vyacheslav Merzlyakov.
Borrowing experience gained with their Samson 30 Mk1 system, an Israeli company developed the Samson 30 Mk2 turret, where the 30-mm ATK Mk44 cannon is hidden in an armored casing that protects the 1 Level, which can be upgraded to the 4 Level with the kit which sets can be upgraded to an XNUMX Level kit which can be bundled with a kit which can be bundled with a set of kits for the kits, which can be upgraded to the XNUMX Level, which can be upgraded to the XNUMX Level, which sets can be upgraded to the kit for complete sets of XMUM XNUMX MKXNXX MkXNMX MkXNMX MkXNMX MkXNUMX MkXNUMX MkXNUMX MkXNUMX MkXNUMX MkXNUMX
The module maintains a very low silhouette, which makes getting into it difficult. With vertical guidance angles -20 ° / + 60 °, the Mk44 cannon has a dual feed system from two magazines containing shots containing 100. Protection of the crew allows him to recharge and perform maintenance from under the armor (hatch separates the tower from the rest of the car). 7,62-mm magazine or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher mounted to the right of the main gun.
The commander and the shooter each have their own aiming system, gyro-stabilized in two axes. The gunner’s sight is coaxially aligned with the gun barrel, while the commander’s system is a retractable panoramic sight that provides search and shock capabilities. A manhole in the roof of the tower allows the commander to directly observe the external situation, which increases the situational awareness of the crew.
The Samson 30 Mk2 turret can be equipped with two Rafael Spike LR ATGMs, while the main armament can be replaced with 30 - 40 mm cannons of western or eastern design. Rafael offers a new tower in four different configurations; Depending on the type of equipment installed and the level of protection, the weight of the Mark2 tower varies from 1400 to 2400 kg.
A key feature of the Rafael Samson 30 Mk2 turret is that the commander can improve situational awareness thanks to a sunroof that allows him to directly observe
Another Israeli company Elbit Systems is also active in the mid-caliber tower market with its UT25 and UT30 models. In September, 2012, the company Elbit Systems received an order for the initial production and supply of the Brazilian Army’s UT30 BR 30 uninhabited towers. The cost of these towers is 15 million dollars, they will be installed on the Iveco 6x6 "Guarani" armored vehicle under the contract announced in January of the 2011 year and estimated at about 260 million.
The number of towers is not announced, but the first batch must be delivered within two years. The German company KMW showed a modification of its combat module FLW200, designated FLW200 +. The new system can accept not only light weapons, but also an 20-mm cannon, namely the Rheinmetall Rh202 DM6A1. FW200 + weighs approximately 400 kg, including a cannon and one hundred 20x139 mm shells, the Rh202 cannon has a double ammunition feed.
The two-axis stabilized gun has vertical elevation angles -10 ° / + 50 °, and the crew can set firing zones and prohibit fire. The optoelectronics kit is placed in the container on the right side of the installation and includes a color CCD camera with magnification, a laser range finder, and a thermal imager; taking into account long distances, a system for amplifying an image of a cooled type is installed.
Using the family concept, KMW has retained numerous common components with FLW100 / 200 DBMS, such as the control system and display, as well as mechanical interfaces. At the top of the FLW200 + you can install additional weapons systems. This can be either a rocket launcher or a light machine gun, although grenade launchers can also be installed for self-defense.
In Belgium, Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI) has proven its versatility in the mid-caliber area with the release of the DUBM, a modification of the CPWS (Cockerill Protected Weapon Station) 20-25-30. The module was installed on the Panhard Crab 4x4 vehicle shown at Eurosatory 2012. The CPWS module protects the gun from ballistic threats and from bad weather, but allows the crew to reload weapon from under the armor.
The gun is fully stabilized, has vertical angles —10 ° / + 45 °, a dual-mode night / day observation and aiming system with a laser range finder, while the panoramic sight can rotate to a vertical angle + 60 ° and is easily integrated thanks to the CAN bus architecture. If the gun has a double feed, the ammunition holds up to two types of 150 shots.
The CPWS module can be equipped with a hatch allowing the commander to have a direct overview of the surrounding terrain, which was a clear requirement of the French army, taken into account in the Crab machine tower. With standard 1 Level protection, the CPWS module, depending on the armament, has a mass of 750 - 800 kg, which can increase significantly when the consumer chooses the 4 Level protection.
Elbit Systems manufactures UT25 and UT30 uninhabited modules; the latter has recently won great success in Brazil
The most recent development of KMW is the FL200 + module, an enhanced version of the FL200 DBMS, which can accept the 20-mm gun
Cockerill also offers a range of modular mid-caliber twin towers that can accept 25 - 40 mm guns with growth potential up to 50 mm. These towers have a common electronic architecture, developed by the company, they are fully stabilized, when installing a panoramic sight, the commander has search and percussion capabilities.
Standard vertical angles are -20 ° / + 60 °, although with the ATK cannon the maximum angle + 75 ° can be achieved. The standard Security Level is 1, but it can be upgraded to the 5 Level by installing additional booking sets. The 40-mm CTAI turret with telescopic ammunition was presented on the Panhard Sphynx 2010 year; This Sphynx machine is aimed at the EBRC program of the French army.
Two more towers are also targeting the EBRC program. At Eurosatory 2012, Nexter presented its new turret armed with a 40-mm CTAI 40 cannon. The French army wants a twin tower, but Nexter has developed a fully modular system around the digital core, making it easy to transform it into a remote-controlled system.
An all-day day / night surveillance system provides maximum situational awareness for the crew, while episcopes provide a direct overview. The FN Arrows RCWS module is installed at the top to provide defensive fire. The main gun has a vertical angle of -15 ° / + 60 °, while the carousel magazine on the 62 shot allows you to instantly select the desired ammunition.
On both sides of the turret installed launchers for MMP missiles from MBDA. The container with the missiles will be armored to the 3 Level, the basic defense for the tower is 2 Level, but it can be upgraded with additional reservations. In the current configuration, the tower weighs 4,2 tons, but its design can take the maximum weight of seven tons. Being fully digital, the Nexter 40 CTA tower will be able to accept auxiliary towers in automatic configuration mode.
Currently, only a double version is made with a full optional upgrade. The second tower, the ARX20 UAB, shown two years ago, is also a fully modular system. The highest model in the lineup includes auxiliary 7,62 mm armament, advanced optoelectronic equipment and automatic tracking capabilities. Several options are currently being considered for this tower and new versions may soon become available.
A modification of the Cockerill Protected Weapon Station (CPWS) combat module produced by the Belgian company Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie was installed on the Panhard Crab prototype shown at Eurosatory 2012
Cockerill also offers a double turret armed with 25 - 40 mm. Caliber guns. The image shows the CTAI 40 tower mounted on the Panhard Sphynx prototype.
After the development of the 20 mm remote-controlled turret, Nexter showed its version for the program of the EBRC French Army armed with a CTAI 2012 mm gun in 40.
At Eurosatory 2012, Panhard exhibited its Sphynx with a tower from Lockheed Martin UK. The latter company benefited from the experience gained in the Warrior CSP and Scout SV programs; it offers itself as a system integrator capable of providing a “tower on demand” than a tower manufacturer with a predetermined portfolio. The prototype of the Sphynx tower was created by Lockheed Martin UK and, despite being much smaller than the tower for Scout SV, has many of its elements.
The experience gained during the installation of the CTI 40 mm gun, which has no penetration of the breech into the turret and, therefore, is a very unbalanced tool, was used. A mechanical balancing system was adopted, while electricity was used only for minor adjustments. Processing ammunition is also inherited from the Scout SV, the main cannon has 70 ammunition shells, and the twin machine gun 800 ammunition.
The man-machine interface along with the fire control system is also largely due to the British program. But what really helps to maintain this level of unification while ensuring simple integration of components supplied by government organizations or selected by the user is the electronic architecture developed by Lockheed Martin. She worked a lot on the UK DEF STAN 23-09 standard, defining a new common standard vehicle architecture in order to adopt it for promising British cars.
The Sphynx twin tower has a mass of approximately 3,5 tons in an unprotected version, the protection of the 4 Level raises it to about 4,5 tons, including dual external installations of guided missiles. Lockheed Martin is ready to continue similar work for other software on machines and provide tailored solutions and comprehensive services. The design of the modular tower Lance from Rheinmetall was chosen as the basis of the Lockheed Martin tower adopted for the British program SV.
The chassis of the tower is not identical to the chassis of the Lance tower, which allowed Rheinmetall to gain additional experience in customizing the tower. As for the Lance tower itself: after the delivery of the first two systems installed on Piranha III vehicles acquired by the Spanish marines, two more towers were to be delivered by the end of 2012 of the year. The Lance Tower was installed on the Piranha 5, taking part in the test program of the Canadian melee machine. The development of Lance relies on the program of the German BMP Puma: some of the functions of weapons, as well as the qualification of ABM air explosive ordnance were tested under this program.
Rheinmetall installed the Boxer 8 x 8 on the machine and optimized the Lance tower, this option also passed fire tests. During the development phase of the tower, the test center of the Rheinmetall towers in Gersthofen built a test bench for troubleshooting; it has now turned into a modeling system that can be offered to any potential buyer with active towers.
The open architecture of the wind science tower Lance allows the integration of two different optoelectronic systems (one specifically for the commander), situational awareness systems, sniper detection systems, friend-foe systems, etc. Its protection can be raised to the 4 Level, while the 30 mm Rheinmetall gun can be equipped with the above ABM capabilities. Rheinmetall strengthens its contacts with manufacturers of 8 x 8 chassis, as well as with those countries that are looking for 8 x 8 BMPs.
The company Lockheed Martin UK has become an integrator of the tower thanks to the experience gained in the programs of the Warrior CSP and Scout SV. The picture shows the Panhard Sphynx with this tower at Eurosatory 2012.
The Lance tower, developed by Rheinmetall, is offered in habitable and uninhabited versions. This tower was installed on various wheeled chassis.
Starting with a series of medium-caliber towers Hitfist, the company OTO Melara developed a remote-controlled version, while the specialized version for reconnaissance vehicles (in the photo) was made for Italy
Based on the experience of the Hitfist family of mid-caliber towers, Oto Melara developed a remote-controlled version under the designation Hitfist OWS for installation on lighter machines with a mass close to 10 tons; This layout solution aroused considerable interest among manufacturers of floating machines. The second prototype, shown at Eurosatory 2012, was very close to the serial configuration. The tower is optimized for the installation of 25-mm and 30-mm ATK guns, and the development of such weapons in the direction of firing air-launched munitions increases the combat potential of the Oto Melara tower.
A fully gyro-stabilized ATK MK44 30 mm gun with a digital interface, an 7,62-mm coaxial machine gun and a double rocket launcher, for example for Spike, Cornet or Ingwe, are installed in the turret. The vertical angles of the gun are from -10 ° to + 75 °. The gunner's sight is gyro-stabilized vertically and includes a Gen II thermal imaging camera, a daytime color camera, a laser rangefinder and a backup fiber-optic sight for manual guidance.
The position of the commander can also be equipped with a stabilized panoramic night / day sight or a panoramic thermal imager. The company's philosophy is to provide minimal protection for the gun, mainly from weather factors, crew protection. The 3 level is guaranteed by the standard roof interface (solutions for increasing gun protection to 3 Level, 4 or higher were considered). An optional access hatch may be added to provide the commander with direct visibility.
The second prototype Hitfist OWS is installed on the Freccia BMP, which will be sent to Russia for testing; This special solution allows you to increase the number of paratroopers in the car. The South African branch of BAE Systems presented at the Eurosatory 2010 exhibition a TRT (Tactical Remote Turret) military remote turret armed with a M242 Bushmaster 25 mm gun with the TRT-B25 designation. With a full ammunition consisting of two 130 shots, it weighs only 850 kg, including a 7,62 mm coaxial machine gun with 1000 cartridges, four 76-mm smoke grenade launchers and optoelectronics.
The fully stabilized TRT-B25 turret can fire on the move, it has vertical pointing angles -10 ° / + 65 °. At Africa Aerospace and Defense 2012, BAE Systems showed the second member of its TRT family, the TRT-30, armed with the Russian 30-mm Shipun automatic cannon 2A42. The turret is also armed with an East-European paired 7,62-mm machine gun and can be equipped with anti-tank missiles of the same origin. The tower, remotely controlled by one operator, can receive other guns of calibers 25 - 35 mm.
The new tower takes into account the experience gained and, therefore, the TRT-B25 tower will become one of the TRT-R30 variants in the future. The uniformity between the various models of towers is estimated at 95 percent for electronics and 70 percent for the structural part. A wider cradle was installed in the tower, and the design was modified to accommodate larger masses and greater functionality. The number of finished shots was increased, the TRT-R30MK contains 400 30-mm shots and 1000 machine-gun cartridges, which increased its combat weight to 1435 kg.
The TRT tower was qualified after factory testing, it is currently ready for military testing and subsequent production. The use of two different guns gives BAE Systems greater flexibility and naturally increases the market, since it is possible to install weapons not only from NATO, but also from other countries.
Shown in 2012 year, the 30-mm version of the BAE Systems TRT turret under the TRT-R30 designation is a modernized version of the TRT-B25 armed with the Russian 30-mm 2A42 cannon
BAE Systems Global Combat Systems-Weapons Lemur is currently offered with a M242 25 mm chain gun and a M230LF 30 mm gun, both manufactured by ATK
The Lemur remotely controlled weapons system from BAE Systems Global Combat Systems-Weapons was shown in 2009 year in its new version; she is able to take not only small-caliber weapons, but also 25 and 30 mm guns.
The module was originally offered with the ATK M242 25 mm chain gun, but the ATK M230LF 30 mm gun was subsequently installed. Both configurations have vertical angles from -20 ° to + 55 °. The Lemur module, tested in battles with lighter weapons, still does not have a contract for a medium-caliber configuration.
FNSS showed its Claw tower at IDEF 2011. Armed with an 25-mm Rheinmetall KBA cannon, she can also take 30-mm weapons. Below is the human-machine interface of the Claw tower inside the infantry fighting vehicle.
Tower or combat module?
After the presentation of the prototype in 2009, the Norwegian company Kongsberg continued the development of its mid-caliber remote-controlled tower. Kongsberg emphasizes the fact that its mid-caliber system is not a weapon station, but a tower, because it considers it important to protect the gun not only from ballistic threats, but also from sand and bad weather; ballistic tower defense varies from 1 Level to 5 Level (see first photo).
The new design includes new elements: the cannon is an elongated version of the ATK Mk44 30 mm cannon, firing air-launched ammunition, which must be qualified at the end of 2012. It has a no-feed supply of ammunition, which reduces the loading time and increases reliability; during the shooting over 50000 shells there was not a single jamming. A ringless system is somewhat more expensive than the traditional one, but this is well compensated by the savings from links.
The gun retains the original double feed with a choice of first projectile. The turret allows loading from under the armor and can be armed with 20 - 50 mm calibers, its optoelectronic kit adapts to the armament regarding the target identification range. The company is awaiting the first contract at the end of 2012. In 2011, FNSS showed a new remote controlled tower called Claw. The turret is armed with a double-powered 25-mm Rheinmetall KBA cannon and a paired 7,62-mm machine gun to the right of the cannon, two groups of four 76-mm smoke grenade rigs are installed at the back.
The OMS stabilized in two axes includes an automatic tracking function, while the aiming system is distinguished by an independent stabilized sight with a thermal imager, day camera and laser range finder. The Claw turret has a low silhouette, its height is limited to 590 mm, the ammunition is 160 ready-made shots for the gun and 200 ammunition for the coaxial machine gun. Its mass is 1500 kg in a standard configuration with protection Level 2.
FNSS provides growth potential for its new product, since the Claw turret can accept an 30-mm cannon, an anti-tank turret on the left side, and an independent commander-mounted surveillance sight on the roof, which can be upgraded to 3 level.
The Otokar Mizrak-30 mid-caliber gun developed by Otokar and shown in 2011 is in the final stages of development.
UAB Lemur from BAE Systems
The functional layout of the Otokar Mizrak-30 Dubbed was shown at IDEF 2011 on the Arma 8 x 8. Subsequently, its final prototypes were made, their tests began in the 2012 year, and software refinement is still ongoing.
Mizrak-30 is an advanced turret with independent stabilized commander and gunner sights with automatic tracking function. Both sights include a cooled thermal imaging camera, a CCD camera and a laser range finder. Mizrak prototypes are armed with an 30-mm electromechanical feed gun with elevation angles -10 ° / + 60 °, each feed channel has 104 ready shots.
The turret's modular design allows you to install other types of guns of calibers from 25 to 40 mm, plus anti-tank missiles, a laser receiver, search and attack systems, a multifunctional operational control system, etc. Standard protection is 2 Level, but modular booking kits can upgrade it to 5 Level. Paired 7,62-mm machine gun with 500 cartridges complements the armament.
The combat weight of Mizrak is 2,7 tons. The final operational tests must be completed at the beginning of 2013, the tower will be ready for mass production in the middle of 2013. Otokar company is developing in some variants with different main weapons, as well as the concept of an inhabited tower.