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Land Platforms

Austria to field common remote weapon system

27 January 2017

The Austrian Army will field a common remote weapon station (RWS) across a significant part of its fleet of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

An Austrian Pandur 6x6 APC as originally delivered to the Austrian Army. It is fitted with a PWS armed with and unstabilised .50 calibre M2 HB MG. (GDELS-Steyr)An Austrian Pandur 6x6 APC as originally delivered to the Austrian Army. It is fitted with a PWS armed with and unstabilised .50 calibre M2 HB MG. (GDELS-Steyr)

Details of this and other Austrian Army AFV upgrades were revealed by Brigadier General Norbert Huber, director of armament and procurement at the Austrian Ministry of Defence, at the IQPC International Armoured Vehicles 2017 conference held in London.

It has not been confirmed which system will be installed. However, IHS Jane's understands that a batch of Elbit Systems RWSs were delivered to Austria for its Iveco Defence Vehicles Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) fleet, and a decision was subsequently made to further develop that system and roll the capability out across additional Austrian Army platforms.

The new RWS can be armed with a stabilised 7.62 mm or .50 calibre machine gun (MG), or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher; the ammunition is fed is from the left side. Mounted on the lower part of the RWS is a bank of six electrically operated 76 mm grenade launchers.

The sighting system is on the right side and an automatic target tracker will also be installed.

RWS traverse is electrically powered through a full 360°, and the armament can be elevated from -18° to 58°; the latter being useful when deployed in urban operations.

The sensor pack includes a charge coupled device camera, thermal imager, and laser rangefinder. It will also be fitted with a laser/radar warning system that automatically detects threats and slews the weapon onto the target - the decision to fire remains with the gunner.

In addition to the LMVs, the RWSs will be installed on all of the wheeled AFVs in service with the Austrian Army, including its General Dynamics European Land Systems - Steyr Pandur 6x6 armoured personnel carrier (APC), and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Dingo 2 4x4 All Protected Vehicle fleet.

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