Infantry Weapons

Aero India 2017: BEL details RCWS for Arjun Mk II

15 February 2017
The RCWS that BEL has developed for the Arjun Mk II MBT. Source: IHS Markit/Jayesh Dhingra

India's Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) showcased a Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) that it developed for the Arjun Mk II main battle tank (MBT) at Aero India 2017.

The RCWS is armed with the 12.7 mm Russian NSVT heavy machine gun (MG), but other weapons can also be fitted, such as a 7.62 mm MG. The RCWS is designed to engage air and ground targets and is stabilised on two axes, with automated target tracking and a fire-control system.

The ammunition box is fitted on the right side of the system and the target acquisition and tracking module is located to the left. The latter includes a day camera, thermal imager, and a laser rangefinder. The day optical sensor has a range of 4 km, while the night sight has a range of 2 km.

The RCWS can traverse through 360° with MG elevation from -5° to 60°. The sight has freedom of movement of ±17° in azimuth. The field of view ranges from 1.4° to 28°. The system utilises 28V DC power.

The chairman and managing director of BEL, MV Gowtama, told Jane's : "It is a versatile automatic air defence system that can be fitted on any platform and can be configured with weapons from other manufacturers. The local development of both hardware and software has been achieved with the help of MSME's [Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises]."

The complete system weighs about 200 kg, including the weapon and ammunition. The ammunition box will contain approximately 200 rounds.

The RCWS has received clearance for export.

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