Monday, December 28, 2015

ZSSW-30 Remote Turret Part II




ZSSW-30 
Remote Turret

Part II

Remote Turret
Copyright: defense-update.com

More than a year ago, Warfare Technology had an article on the new Polish ZSSW-30 Remote Turret by the Polish Company, Huta Stalowa Wola or HSW.

A new prototype of the turret was revealed during MSPO 2015 Exhibition. It seems the testing on the turret has already started.

Copyright: J. Sabacc / Defence24.pl

ZSSW-30 is an unmanned / remote turret with the same ring diameter as the Oto Melara Hitfist-30 turret that is already in service in Polish Army on Rosomak 8x8s. The turret has an elevation range of -9° to +60°.


The second prototype of the new Polish ZSSW-30 Turret Unveiled at MSPO Exhibition
(Remigiusz Wilk)
The turret is armed with a 30mm  Mk44 chaingun and a coaxial UKM-2000C 7.62mm machine gun. 

The turret has 200 rounds of 30mm ready-to-fire onboard and 400 7.62mm rounds.

I was unable to see where the links for the 30mm gun are ejected from the photos available. This lead me to thinking that the links are collected inside, however I might be wrong as well. 

On the right hand side of the turret, two Spike LR missiles are mounted.Spike LR is a fire and forget type missile with a imaging infrared seeker. The range is 4.000m with a penetration capability of more than 700mm RHA.

Dual Spike LR Launchers
Copyright:http://www.altair.com.pl/

The gunner's sight is Polish PCO GOC-1 Nike dual axis stabilized sight system.



Gunner's Sight: PCO GOC-1 Nike




Gunner's Sight: PCO GOC-1 Nike


GOC-1 Sight unit consists of a Mid Wave Thermal Imager, Day CCD Camera and a 10km range Laser Range Finder. The sight unit has -20° to +70° elevation and nx360° traverse capability.

The Commander's Sight is PCO God-1 Iris Sight system with a Long Wave thermal imager (D/R/I -4.95/1.6/0.8km), day camera and laser range finder (10km). Thank you, Totem!

PCO GOD-1 Iris Independent Commander's Sight
I was unable to reach any weight data for this turret. Considering the unmanned configuration and the armament, my assumption would be around 2.5tons combat weight. 

Of which, I was pretty close with my weight estimation... Turret weighs 2.400kg with Level II armor package (STANAG 4569) - Thank you Shas.


When I look at the frontal section of the turret, there is no add-on armor in front of the rotor section. This leads me to thinking that the frontal protection level should be around Level II (STANAG 4569).


Frontal Aspect of the Turret


As far as I can see The Polish Army is seeking a local alternative to the Oto Melara Hitfist 30P Two-Man Turrets that they have in inventory on Rosomak 8x8s.

HitFist 30P Two Man Turret
Copyright: http://www.sokol.slupsk.pl/


However, it is not so clear to me why they are opting for an unmanned solution instead of the Two-Man HitFist Turrets. Ive been reading they had good experience with the Hitfist turrets from Polish Army's Operations in Afghanistan. But that's for the Polish Army to decide..

Thanks to Thotem, we have a good and detailed explanation:

Rosomak is required to be amphibious. Poland is criscrossed with several rivers, and being able to manouvre in response to hostile action was always considered pivotal. Meanwhile, polish army always considered its fording/rivercrossing/engineering support inadequate/underfunded. Thus, when Rosomak was comissioned, the specific requirement was for the vehicle to be able to swim. This was achieved, at the expense of ballistic protection. Even for Afghanistan, the vehicles were uparmoured (which is aided by the fact that the vehicle has fully modular armour protection).

However, while at the comissioning OTO Melara was swearing they WILL be able to integrate Spike ATGMs without affecting the core parameters of the Hitfist-30P, this was later proven impossible. While integration was eventually successfully completed, there are two "sticking points": first, the integration effectively requires a new thermal camera. Second, the upgraded turret has significantly increased weight - that is, beyond the limit required for amphibious operations.

This means Polish Army has to spend not only on upgrading the turret, but also on the vehicle hull for it to remain amphibious, or replace the turret. Considering that ZSSW-30 uses the same Mk.44 ATK cannon, that component can be reused. Sights need to be replaced either way - and that makes replacing the entire turret a palatable option, as it also creates extra space inside the vehicle.

That last argument seems to be fairly important, too - Afghanistan ops changed the individual soldier's outfit and gear, and what was initially considered enough space for 8 troopers, NOW seems awfully tight, so the new turret also addresses a previously-unforseen issue that the line commanders face, while also increasing firepower.


There is also a chassis-specific quirk. Hitfist-30P targeting block is to the right of the barrel... right behind the engine cooling and exhaust on the Rosomak/AMV chassis. Hot air from there doesn't really help using either the optics or IR. ZSSW-30 moves the entire block to the opposite side of the vehicle.


5 ZSSW-30 turrets are planned to undergo qualification testing in 2016 and the possible series production to commence in 2017.



7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Polish Army don't have a privilege to decide what they want and what not. For more then a decade Army want to receive Hitfist turret integrated with SPIKE missile, they also want more (or any) specialized versions... list is long. But the politics in Polish DoD decide what is better for Army. Also the unmanned turret that should enter soon after Rosomaks was combat ready in units, that was almost 13 years ago.

Shas said...

Weight: 2400 kg (2650 kg with additional armor)
Level of protection: STANAG 4569 II ( IV with additional armor)

Official data from OBRUM (they may change with time)

Warfare Technology said...

That's good information. Many thanks Shas!

Shas said...

If you want I can translate and give you full data they put in to brochure.

Thotem said...

I feel bad necroing an ancient post, but some corrections and clarifications are needed.

The commander's sight is PCO GOD-1 IRIS. Gotta admit the similiarity to Janus is uncanny, but there. http://www.pcosa.com.pl/en/multi_sensor_optoelectronic_systems_for_unmanned_turrets/god-1_iris_stabilized_observation_and_aiming_optoelectronic_system-2.html

As for "why zssw-30", the answer is super simple.

Rosomak is required to be amphibious. Poland is criscrossed with several rivers, and being able to manouvre in response to hostile action was always considered pivotal. Meanwhile, polish army always considered its fording/rivercrossing/engineering support inadequate/underfunded. Thus, when Rosomak was comissioned, the specific requirement was for the vehicle to be able to swim. This was achieved, at the expense of ballistic protection. Even for Afghanistan, the vehicles were uparmoured (which is aided by the fact that the vehicle has fully modular armour protection).

However, while at the comissioning OTO Melara was swearing they WILL be able to integrate Spike ATGMs without affecting the core parameters of the Hitfist-30P, this was later proven impossible. While integration was eventually successfully completed, there are two "sticking points": first, the integration effectively requires a new thermal camera. Second, the upgraded turret has significantly increased weight - that is, beyond the limit required for amphibious operations.

This means Polish Army has to spend not only on upgrading the turret, but also on the vehicle hull for it to remain amphibious, or replace the turret. Considering that ZSSW-30 uses the same Mk.44 ATK cannon, that component can be reused. Sights need to be replaced either way - and that makes replacing the entire turret a palatable option, as it also creates extra space inside the vehicle.

That last argument seems to be fairly important, too - Afghanistan ops changed the individual soldier's outfit and gear, and what was initially considered enough space for 8 troopers, NOW seems awfully tight, so the new turret also addresses a previously-unforseen issue that the line commanders face, while also increasing firepower.

There is also a chassis-specific quirk. Hitfist-30P targeting block is to the right of the barrel... right behind the engine cooling and exhaust on the Rosomak/AMV chassis. Hot air from there doesn't really help using either the optics or IR. ZSSW-30 moves the entire block to the opposite side of the vehicle.

S O said...

I don't know specifics about this example, but IN THEORY an unmanned turret may work without a turret basket, thus preserving volume below for additional dismounts or munitions.
An unmanned turret also greatly reduces the volume and thus surface that needs to be protected at high level (assuming that one doesn't want to protect the expensive turret electronics as much as a crewmember's health).

Thotem said...

In this case the turret is basketless but provides access hatches for emergency direct operation and for refilling ammo - with the exception of externally mounted ATGM launcher tubes.
The protection level is "the best we can do without exceeding system weight limit".