Crows in a Box
The CROWS-in-a-box made its debut at this year’s Association of the United States Army annual meeting.
The Common Remotely Operating Weapons System, which allows gunners to sit inside the vehicle instead of being exposed in the turret, is made by Kongsberg Protech Systems.
The CROWS-in-a-box – or properly known as the Containerized Weapons System – puts the CROWS system in a Tricon container and allows soldiers to remotely operate the weapon from up to 4,000 yards away, said Rune Johannessen, Kongsberg’s vice president for business development, North America.
This allows soldiers to man the guns from a protected location, whether it’s a safe house in an embassy or a tactical operations center on a forward operating base, Johannessen said.
“Today we have all the sensors in the world for situational awareness, but we don’t have the weapons to respond,” he said.
The standard CROWS comes in three parts – a control unit featuring a screen that serves as the eyes for the gunner; a control stick that is used for aiming, shooting and maneuvering the weapon; and the weapons pod, which is mounted on top of the vehicle.
It has day and night cameras and a laser range-finger, Johannessen said, and it moves on three gyroscopes that stabilize and move the gun.
The CROWS is fitted for at least 30 U.S. vehicles, including the Humvee and the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle, and can be used with any weapon, including the M2 .50-cal, the 240B machine gun and the MK-19 grenade launcher.
It can hold 400 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition and 1,000 7.62x51mm rounds.
The CWS features the CROWS inside a standard military conex. The CROWS, which sits on a mast, can be raised 15 feet above the ground, making it ideal for perimeter security, Johannessen said.
It can support any weapon the CROWS can, including non-lethal weapons, Johannessen said.
The CWS has not been fielded yet, but Johannessen said he expects they will arrive in Afghanistan within six months.
“The Army is planning the acquisition of a small number of the systems to deploy,” he said. “It’s available now, but it still needs to be tested and validated as a system.”
The CWS didn’t exist a year ago, but it will fill a need in theater as the U.S. draws down in Afghanistan, Johannessen said.
“There are fewer and fewer bodies out there and it’s a cost to have soldiers out there 24-7 doing security,” he said. “This protects soldiers. We truly think a system like this will make a big difference.”
Since 2007, Kongsberg has delivered more than 10,000 CROWS to the Army, Johannessen