The Lockheed Martin/Raytheon Javelin Joint Venture has demonstrated a FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) live-fire engagement capability from a Kongsberg M153 Protector Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station II (CROWS II) mounted on a Titan tracked unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).
Conducted on 12 June at the US Army Redstone Test Center, Alabama, but disclosed on 10 September, the demonstrations mark the first wireless firing of Javelin from a UGV, Brad Fribbs, International Innovation and Growth Program Manager at Raytheon Missile Systems' Close Combat Systems Directorate, told Jane's.
In the course of the demonstrations, a Javelin remotely engaged a T-62 main battle tank target at a range of 700 m, while the .50 calibre machine gun on the M153 Protector similarly engaged a light truck. Video footage from the missile and the remote weapon station, as well as control and firing signals, was transferred on encrypted radio frequency (RF) communications.
The demonstration not only validates the integration of the weapon station, missile and platform, but also the wireless capability for both the weapon station and the UGV, said Fribbs. "This remote launch concept can be extended as a capability in the Javelin command launch unit (CLU), or other soldier borne control interfaces that would provide control of the electro-optic sensors of other UGVs, Stryker systems, or remote weapon stations," he noted.
"Relocating the launcher away from the observer significantly increases the survivability of the Javelin user by reducing his own battlefield signature, which will be more critical as sophisticated counter-fire systems emerge on the battlefield. Where a user might have a limited number of systems to deploy in the fight, robotics now enhances the dismounted infantry's ability to take a more capable element to the fight."
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