BAE Systems expects US award for new V-22 360-degree gun
By Caitlin Harrington
The US Navy's V-22 programme office is expected to award a contract to BAE Systems in early May for 14 Remote Guardian System gun kits, an official close to the V-22 programme told Jane's on 30 April.
How quickly the new gun system is deployed in combat will depend on how much, if any, additional operational testing the US Marine Corps and US Air Force want to do once they begin receiving the kits from August 2008, the official said.
The new gun kit, known informally as the 'interim defensive weapon system', is an 'all-quadrant' gun, which means it can swivel 360 degrees to shoot at targets in any direction.
The system is the US military's answer to critics who claim that the V-22 needs a gun that can shoot forward to enable it to protect troops during dangerous daytime assault and night-time special operations missions. Currently the V-22 is protected from the ramp by side gunners relying on M240D 7.62 mm machine guns.
Image: An MV-22 takes off from a US Navy amphibious assault ship (US Navy) 164 of 495 words
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