Skip to comments.It's Alive! (CROWS - common remotely operated weapon stations)
Posted on 12/13/2008 2:58:30 PM PST by neverdem
The remote control turret changed the battlefield more than you might think. It all began three years ago, when the U.S. Army realized that new remote control gun turret designs actually worked, and suddenly they could not get enough of them. The army ordered over 9,000 CROWS (common remotely operated weapon stations), but for a while could only get 15 a month. By the end of 2006, there were about a thousand CROWS in service by the end of the year.
The main issue was that the enemy was no longer able to knock out the turret gunner, early in a firefight, and take away a lot of the vehicles firepower. Because of that, once the enemy opens fire, they are in trouble. The remote turret tends to begin delivering accurate fire right away, and is much more immune to enemy fire than a human gunner. If the vehicle is a Stryker, the enemy will soon find themselves dealing with half a dozen or so heavily armed infantry, who get out of the vehicle and come at the ambushers. Iraqis don't like that. They also don't like how some of the CROWS turret equipped vehicles will come after them. All those accurately aimed bullets coming their way, and no enemy soldiers in sight, is demoralizing.
The idea for CROWS has been around for nearly half a century. Years of tinkering, and better technology, eventually made the remote control gun turret effective and dependable. CROWS is a real lifesaver, not to mention anxiety reducer, for troops who drive through bandit country a lot, and have a turret mounted gun (usually in a hummer). The guy manning the turret mounted machine-gun is a target up there, and too often, the bad guys get you. Not with CROWS. The gunner is inside...
(Excerpt) Read more at strategypage.com ...
It's excerpted because I can't capture the links in the fourth and fifth paragraphs when I copied the text from the source code.
The accuracy of the fire, and uncanny speed with which the CROWS gun moves so quickly and deliberately, is due to something few officers expected. The guys operating these systems grew up playing video games. They developed skills in operating systems (video games) very similar to the CROWS controls. This was important, because viewing the world around the vehicle via a vidcam is not as enlightening (although a lot safer) than having your head and chest exposed to the elements, and any firepower the enemy sends your way. But experienced video gamers are skilled at whipping that screen view around, and picking up any signs of danger. Iraqis are amazed at how observant CROWS is. Iraqis tend to just wrote this off as another example of American “magic.”
Many Iraqis, especially the bad guys, get distressed while watching a CROWS turret being exercised by some video game addict inside the vehicle. That’s because the most noticeable part of CROWS, as it swivels and “looks” around, is the machine-gun. Many Iraqis don’t even recognize the vidcam and other sensors. They think the machine-gun is, well, sort of R2D2 with a bad attitude and a license to kill.
The cure for urban traffic jams.
And crowded parking lots.
Indeed, and car-jackers might consider picking a different victim.
How can it be that the vehicles are all covered in mud but not the CROWS?
Thanks for the pic.
Don’t you know? You always keep your weapon clean! And that includes your gun!
wicked pic, stoat.
Your eye for detail is impressive :-)
Perhaps it has to do with the "American Magic" that the article refers to?
Quite a good question....they do look magnificently clean, don't they?
Looks like the ammo tray/belt is pretty exposed. Is this the way the operational unit is rigged?
should be the right medicine for raghead terrorists -- and bass-thumpin' dummycars... '-)
You would have to be a pretty good shot to hit that ammo belt at 300 yards... especially with this thing barking at your forehead to the tune of 450 rounds a minute
The most interesting thing about that picture is the way the ammo belt has a kink in it but can still feed into the receiver. I would have thought it would have been designed in such a way that the belt was aligned perpendicular to the weapon.
Actually- somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, I think that the ammo belt moves through a protective metal duct, which is what we are seeing here. You could probably dump a bucket of mud over it and it would work fine, less any mud obscuring the video lens.
The lead vehicle seems to have a MK19 grenade launcher on the CROWS. That’s even cooler than the .50, I think.
>> [Iraqis] think the machine-gun is, well, sort of R2D2 with a bad attitude and a license to kill.
Classic! I love it!
I’ll do a treadhead and Stryker ping later if no one beats me to it, have to run to see the godchild in The Nutcracker for now.
I’m sure that C3PO will be noticeably less abusive in the future.
Pretty neat to think that the machine gun shown is pushing 90 years old.John Browning was a genius.
“How can it be that the vehicles are all covered in mud but not the CROWS?”
Evasive maneuvers. (that’s still classified. don’t tell anyone)
MK19 CROWS were deployed after the Ma-Deuce versions.
First Ma-Deuce/CROWS went to MPs, then SF, then general mechinfantry.
If you’d like to play with one of these or both, download and learn to play America’s Army Online. See www.americasarmy.com. You’ll have to pass Special Forces training then get certified on the CROWS.
Meet me on line — I am Tot4l.nOOb in America’s Army. This is a great time-waster on endless design review calls ;-)
That M2 sure looks like it should. Serious.
They have em....M134DT’s versus the old style GAU2B’s etc .....twin 4400 ammo chutes are available yet all I have ever seen are single 4400 round chutes. GE gave up the ghost to Dillon....Blue Press Dillon. He redesigned the mini-gun so it can be cleared easily by the gunner versus the old GAU 2B that had to be taken apart to clear . M134D is standard and the M134DT version is lightweight for aircraft use.
Damn fine tool for the American arsenal.....
Of course, if we are looking at raw firepower, the Rafael Samson Remote Controlled Weapons Station seems king of the hil with a 30mm cannon, SPIKE ant-tank missile launcher, and smoke grenades.
Our guys hate to shoot kids.
Bump and a Ping
They’d have to get awful close and climb on top of the vehicle to use spray paint, and for a paintball gun, he’d have to take out mulitple sensors at once - there’s not just the one camera! And they all have protective lenses.
I’d stick with the 50 Cal currently installed.
Can I have one?
50 Cals rock!
I still have a small scar (over 30 years later) from head space and timing. LOL
Is it stabilized?
How vulnerable to small arms fire is all the whizbang gizmos?
If all it takes is one bullet in the right place to disable it, how is that any different than killing the gunner?
Hey wait a minute....are you this elf ?
The vulnerable areas are smaller, and easier to replace than a gunner.
I'd like to see them deployed on fully remote-controlled vehicles. Let the unmanned vehicles take point.
A 50 caliber Ma Deuce next to an M19 40mm belt fed automatic grenade launcher, YEAH!
63MPH, drives away from 12 pound mines under the wheels, and survives RPGs. Plus, a 249 SAWs on a pintle mount for "backstratching" other ASVs, and taking care of pests.
Along with the Stryker it is the vehicle everybody wants in the sandbox, being about ten times more survivable than an uparmored hummer.
A CROWs mount is nice, when it works, as long as nobody is shooting when you have to reload it! And mounted on a hummer, you're still in a hummer!
What happens to a Ma Deuce if you try to shoot 450 rounds in a minute?
Better put on your asbestos suit!
Well, I'm sure it's a whole lot different for the gunner...
41, for your consideration.
Man I have some baaaad memmories in a older V100 caddy gage that looks just like that........you say that will stand up to a PG7 ??
So far they have. Check out this IED on an ASV video.
Other cool ASV videos. The troops love em, that’s what counts. The Army ordered like 100, saw how great they were for modern low intensity/counterinsurgency, and put in a rush order for like 800 more.
And if a CROWs is mounted on top of a hummer, you’re still only in a hummer, not the most survivable gun platform, that’s for sure.
Only thing that even looks vulnerable on that weapon system is the optics panel just underneath the barrel.