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Kongsberg To Build More CROWS

The U.S. Department of Defense added to a contract previously won by Kongsberg of Norway for Crew Remote Operated Weapon Stations (CROWS). The value of this addition is over $800 million. The add to the existing contract will purchase a further 3,849 CROWS bringing the total to over 10,000.

The contract will be done over five years at Kongsberg Pennsylvania facility. CROWS allows weapons to be operated by a gunner sitting in the vehicle rather then up in the turret. This provides maximum protection to them in combat. CROWS are installed on HUMVEES as well as MRAP vehicles and are used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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MRAP-ATV Contract Spills Over To SCHOTT North America

Oshkosh Defense was awarded the contract to build the new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected – All Terrain Vehicle (MRAP-ATV) earlier this year for use in the rougher terrain of Afghanistan. Under this contract several thousand vehicles will be built for use by the Army, Marine Corps and other services. As with any contract of this size there will be large orders placed with the necessary sub-contractors.

For example Plasan in Vermont will provide armor plate for the vehicles as they have for other MRAP and up-armored trucks and HUMVEES. Now SCHOTT North America located in Indiana announced that they have received a contract from Oshkosh to provide armored glass for the MRAP-ATV.

The contract will be require over a hundred more workers to be hired and the company to invest about $7 million in their plants. This contract illustrates how large defense contracts while seemingly being awarded to only one company spread across the U.S. and foriegn suppliers as parts and components are produced.

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Kongsberg Wins Further U.S. CROWS Work

The Norwegian company Kongsberg was awarded another contract to support the U.S. military’s remotely operated weapon system and turrets. Kongsberg has been a prime contributor to the Crew Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) since its inception. The CROWS allows a gunner to operate a turret or weapon remotely so that they may remain under maximum armor protection.

This latest $188 million contract follows on to several previous ones. The total CROWS program is worth over two billion dollars and involves several different companies. Konsberg makes the Protector Remote Weapon Stations (RWS). These hold the weapon and train and elevate it. This is combined with sensors and controls to make up the full CROWS installation.

CROWS has been used successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan for several years and is installed on HUMVEES and MRAP type vehicles. Previously gunners would have to expose themselves in order to aim and fire their weapons. This system maximizes their protection.

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Marines And Oshkosh Move Out On New Truck

The U.S. Marine Corps initiated a new program for Oshkosh Defense to build them a heavy, multi-purpose truck. The Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) program is for a new tactical vehicle to perform a variety of roles.

The U.S. military had to invest heavily in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and up armor their older tactical vehicles, like HUMVEES and trucks. This program will take advantage of that experience to develop and produce a new vehicle to carry out a variety of missions for the U.S.M.C. As the MRAP has had issues working in tactical situations this is another program to fix some of these issues. The contract is worth just over $700 million if all options are exercised. Right now the contract is for about 600 vehicles.

Like the MRAP-ATV program where there will be a lighter, more mobile vehicle developed to work the rougher terrain in Afghanistan the concept of this program is sensible. Oshkosh will stand to do well with this product if it works out and other services and countries buy it.

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US Army buys more HUMVEES

AM General was awarded a contract to build more HUMVEES for the Army. See a press release here. The contract is worth over $240 M. The HUMVEE is the ubiquitous jeep replacement in the US military. Although the soft skinned version has been replaced in Iraq and Afghanistan by up armored versions and MRAPS, the US military still uses thousands of them all over the world as a general purpose vehicle.

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BAE wins contract for turret moters

BAE Systems was awarded a $71 M contract for 12000 turret motors for US Army light tactical vehicles. The story is here. The motors will be used to move the turrets on HUMVEEs and MRAP vehicles. Obviously the part will be provided to whomever outfits the vehicles with the turrets, either at an Army depot or the factory. It again shows that little things cost a lot and the price of something can add up quickly.

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