Thursday, January 30, 2014

XM800T Armored Scout Vehicle


FMC's XM800T tracked scout vehicle was a light tracked vehicle developed for US Army's Armored Scout Vehicle programme (1966-1976).

It was a 3 men crew small tracked vehicle with a combat loaded weight of around 9 tons and a rear mounted engine.

It was equipped with a two-men turret armed with M139 (US version of Hispano Suiza HS820) 20mm auto cannon.


I think a modern version of this vehicle would still be a very good choice for an armored scout vehicle. 

Its main advantages would be tracks, compact dimensions thus low silhouette, light weight, rear engine for reduced frontal heat signature and noise, low ground pressure and high power-to-weight ratio.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blast from the Past: Expeditionary Tank

Blast from the Past:

Teledyne Expeditionary Tank

Another contender in the US Army's search for the Airborne Light Tank. At the time airborne equals to C130 cargo aircraft transportability and air dropping.

It was 19tons combat loaded and was two tonnes heavier than the winner of the competition FMC's CCVL. CCVL then evolves into M8 Armored Gun System which was later cancelled by the Army. But M8 is by itself another subject.

By the way, any body recognizes the turret? Hint: M1128...

Styrker Mobile Gun System:


Monday, January 27, 2014

Kongsberg Containerized Weapon System

Kongsberg's Remote Sentry:


Following the success of their Protector Remote Weapon Station family, Kongsberg has come up with a weapon system aimed specifically at base defense: Containerized Weapon System or CWS for short.

In a typical forward operating base, there are two by four plywood guard towers manned by soldiers, doing sentry duty under immense danger.

There comes the CWS into play. It takes the sentry from the tower to a secure, environmentally controlled location up to one km away from the remote system.

CWS can be transported on a truck, slung loaded under a Chinook helicopter or towed with its dedicated trailer.

The main components are shown below:


CWS is tethered to the command center via secure fiberoptic cable.

In a typical scenario:

-CWS is transported into location,
- It can be powered from
    i. Its dedicated 1.200W solar array
    ii. Built-in backup generator
    iii. Power from nearby vehicles
    iv. Conventional 110V AC circuit
- Top hatches opened
- Mast with RWS raised to position and locked

and the system is ready to operate from the command position. The command position can be up to 1km away from the system.

CWS can get feedback from external sensors via electro-optic recon pods, sniper detection systems and perimeter security sensors and automatically slewed to the detected threat for further evaluation by the operator.

CWS's bite is coming from a CROWS 2 remote weapon station that can be equipped by a .50cal M2 heavy machine gun or 7.62/5.56mm general purpose machine guns.

We will probably be seeing CWS systems deployed to forward bases and facilities in near future.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

ATK LW25 Cannon

Light Weight 25mm
LW25 Weapon

ATK's LW25 is a 25mmx59 caliber externally driven electric cannon.

It's total weight of 30.8kg makes it an attractive alternative to M2 .50cal (38kg) machine gun and Mk19 40mm (31kg) grenade launcher for Remote Weapon Station applications.

LW25 on Saab's Trackfire RWS

From ATK's website, the features are listed as:

Dual-feed system. The dual-feed system provides the user the flexibility to select between two types of ammunition, depending on the threat situation and desired lethality. This affords options when faced with difficult rules of engagement that require quick transition between a lethal and nonlethal response. Next-round-select capability enables users to switch between the two feeds, with the next round fired being the newly selected ammunition.

Increased lethality. The LW25 includes a robust family of ammunition that is compatible with ATK’s Programmable Air-burst Munition technology. The PABM round greatly enhances lethality over current legacy weapon systems with its ability to defeat troops in defilade. The LW25 offers a dramatic increase in lethality over the current M2 .50 caliber, M240 7.62mm, and Mk19 40mm Grenade Machine Gun.

High reliability. Due to its externally powered electric, chain-driven design, the system has a mean rounds between stoppages in excess of 35,000 rounds. This allows for prolonged use in diverse applications and difficult environments where performance and sustained firepower are crucial. Sluggish performance and constant stoppages are a thing of the past.

Remote or manned operation. Also due to its externally powered chain-driven action, the gun can be fired remotely from weapon stations while the crew remains protected and under armor, without the need for charging and manually clearing stoppages. This is particularly important for applications such as MRAP, where gun access and system reliability demand such flexibility. The gun system has been integrated and fired from the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station and can be employed in manned applications on ground, naval and helicopter aviation platforms.

Compact lightweight system. The LW25 is a compact and lightweight design based on the highly successful Bushmaster family of Chain Guns. This combat-proven design allows for ease of use and leverages more than 25 years of engineering expertise. The LW25 is ideal for lightweight applications currently limited to gas-operated guns.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blast from the Past: RDF Light Tank

Blast from the past:


Somehow history repeats itself. Nowadays, US Army has begun investigating a light tank for the airborne corps.

In the early 1980's the same requirement was again under consideration and Aircraft Armaments Inc. - AAI has started an initiative to develop a Rapid Deployment Force Light Tank.

Enter RDF:

AAI developed more than one variant of this light tank with:

- 3 crew: 2 in the turret (Cmdr & Gnr) + 1 in the hull (driver)
- 3  crew: 1 in the turret (Gnnr) +2 in the hull (Cmdr & Driver)
- 2 crew: 2 in the hull (Cmdr & Driver) + unmanned turret

Vehicle was around 15 tons with a 350 HP Detroit Diesel engine coupled to an Allison X200 transmission.

RDF was initially armed with a 76mm cannon and a subsequent prototype was armed with a Rapid Fire Caseless 76mm cannon having 'burst' capability. So the gun can quickly send 5 76mm rounds to the same target to guarantee penetration at the target. 

The vehicle with the low profile Unmanned Turret is futuristic even by today's standards. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rheinmetall Wotan 30mm

WOTAN 30mm

There is a new player in the game, Rheinmetall's new externally driven medium caliber cannon: Wotan 30.

Wotan is similar with the ATK Bushmaster series in the way that it is also electric driven. Rheinmetall's previous 30mm cannon MK30-2 / ABM gun that is arming Germany's newest IFV, Spz Puma is a gas operated gun. However the brand new Wotan is electrically driven following the success of the Bushmaster series with some new features.

Wotan 30mm Auto-Cannon

 The gun is capable of engaging targets up to 3.000m. It has built-in Air Burst Munitions (ABM) capability thanks to its muzzle programmer which is a derivative of the successful AHEAD system.

Wotan has a fire rate of 200 shots per minute. The gun's advanced features employed with the proven lethality and versatility of the 30x173mm ammunition offers a good alternative to Bushmaster series.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mortar Turrets Prt III


AMOS is a twin-barrelled, breech-loaded, mortar turret suitable for integration to medium-sized (10–25 ton) wheeled or tracked armoured vehicles. 

The two-man turret has armament comprising two independent 120-mm smoothbore mortars mounted into a common cradle with an equilibrator and a loading device. 

The turret is designed to meet the highest requirements of combat capability and to give the crew a high survivability level in all battlefield conditions. AMOS is characterised by its extremely high rate of fire that gives high impact on target—the maximum rate of fire is up to 26 rounds/min and the number of rounds in MRSI (multiple rounds simultaneous impact) is as high as 14. 

The lethality is therefore higher than with any other mortar system. The twin barrel concept reduces the overall number of systems, has lower barrel temperature and thus lower barrel wear.

The mobility of the APC chassis supports vehicle survivability on the modern battlefield and the system can rapidly deploy whenever fire support is needed. It also moves quickly to another firing position to avoid enemy counterfire, justifying the expression “gun and run”.

The mortars fire conventional 120-mm, smoothbore, finstabilised ammunition. Special ammunition, such as cargo and guided ammunition, can be used directly as these were originally developed for smoothbore barrels.

AMOS has following main benefits:
high rate of fire;
• direct-fire capability;
• rapid deployment (gun and run);
• ballistic and NBC protection;
• low chassis loads due to recoil system;
• large amount of ammunition on board;
• suitability for all standard 120-mm smoothbore mortar
ammunition; and
• full 360º traverse.

Reunomaki, Kari M., "AMOS Advanced Mortar System", Journal of Battlefield Technology, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2002.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mortar Turrets Prt II


Some of the Mortar Turrets in the market today.

Patria - Hägglunds AMOS Twin Barreled 120mm Mortar Turret

Patria NEMO Single Barrel 120mm Mortar Turret

BAE Systems - General Dynamics Advanced Mortar System II - AMS II Turret

BTR 120mm Mortar Turret

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Turreted Mortars

  Are they the future of Mobile Fire Support?

Imagine an IFV armed with a weapon that is automatically loaded, can reach 10km's away, can fire in 360 degrees arc, send 16 rounds that impact at the same time on a target and keep firing 14 rounds a minute. The IFV that is equipped with this turret can also be employed in  a direct fire as well as indirect.

This is the Turreted Mortar:

Sounds very interesting right? However these weapon systems somehow does not get the worth they deserve.

I believe turreted mortars have more advantages when compared with towed mortars or even vehicle mounted systems like M106 (M113 derivative) or M1129 (Stryker 8x8 derivative). Direct fire is one important capability that the others lack. Quick firing is another. And you also get the Crew Protection where M1129 likes do not have.

M1129 Stryker Mortar Carrier

Patria Nemo 120mm Turreted Mortar System

Blast from the Past: Remote Turret

B-36 Bomber Remote Turret

B-36 Bomber Remote Turret

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Remote Turrets Part II

Part II

The turrets in the market:

Kongsberg Remote Turret


Oto Melara Hitfist OWS Remote Turret

Spz Puma Turret on Boxer

Rafael Samson Mk II Remote Turret

FNSS Claw Remote Turret

Otokar Mizrak Remote Turret

BAE TRT25 Remote Turret

CMI CPWS Remote Turret

 BM-3 Shturm Remote Turret (Ukraine)

KMW IWS 35 Remote Turret

Evpu Turra 30 Remote Turret (Slovakia)

Remote Turrets Part I


Medium Caliber Turrets (20mm-40mm automatic cannons) are the backbone of the Fire Power of today's Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). 

An emerging concept in medium caliber turrets is the Remote or Unmanned Turret concept. 

Kongsberg's Remote Turret with 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster

This is different than the Remote Weapon Stations armed with medium caliber guns like the one shown:

The main differences:

i. Remote turrets are enclosed structures with all the subsystems like the ammunition feed chutes, ammo boxes and drives are inside an armored cocoon. On the other hand RWS have an open architecture.

ii.  Remote Turrets offer an important advantage of reloading under armor whereas in most of the RWS's, the crew has to get outside to reload ammunition. 

Unmanned Turrets offer the advantage of having no part that is hanging below the vehicle's roof line ie. the basket of a manned turret.

 Vehicle Interior w/ Unmanned Turret


Vehicle Interior w/ 2 Men Turret

GAU-23 Airborne Bushmaster

The ATK 30mm Auto Cannon US Air Force Type Classified as GAU-23 Bushmaster aboard the MC-27J multimission aircraft. Basically converting the C-27 cargo aircraft to an aerial gunship.

Another image of the gun and its mount aboard the MC-27.