PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — U.S. Army officials are continuing their purchases of the M153 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations (CROWS) II from Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS in Kongsberg, Norway, under terms of a contract worth nearly half a billion dollars.
CROWS II is a remote-control weapon system that enables combat vehicle operators to locate and shoot at targets while inside the vehicle and protected by its armor.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command-New Jersey at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., awarded a $498.3 million five-year contract to Kongsberg for continued production, sustainment, and engineering services for the M153 CROWS.
The electro-optical CROWS system consists of a gyro-stabilized mount attached to the top of the combat vehicle, as well as its guns and grenade launcher. The weapon’s sensors include daylight video camera, thermal imager, and eye-safe laser rangefinder.
The CROWS II remote weapons station, shown above, uses electro-optical sensors like daylight video camera, thermal imager, and eye-safe laser rangefinder to target the enemy.
CROWS II can accommodate a variety of weapons, including the Mk 19 grenade launcher, M2 .50 caliber machine gun, M240B 7.62-millimeter machine gun, and the M249 5.56-millimeter Squad Automatic Weapon.
It has been used on a variety of armored combat vehicles, including the M1 Abrams main battle tank; Humvee; Buffalo mine-protected vehicle; South African RG-31 Nyala and RG-33 mine-resistant light armored vehicles; the M1126 Stryker armored personnel carrier; the Oshkosh MRAP all-terrain vehicle; and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
CROWS II comes in two parts: the mount on the exterior of the vehicle. and the control group. The mount can rotate 360 degrees at up/down angles from -20 to 60-degrees elevation, with ballistic-corrected fire control.
The CROWS operator sits behind the vehicle driver, and controls the CROWS weapons with a display, switches, and joystick. The system’s camera can identify targets nearly a mile away, has about a 95-percent accuracy rate, and can track targets moving as quickly as 35 miles per hour.
On this contract Kongsberg will do the work at locations determined with each order, and should be finished by September 2022.
For more information contact the Army Contracting Command-New Jersey at http://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-nj, or Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace at www.kongsberg.com/en/kds.