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More CROWS for the Army from Kongsberg

Kongsberg is a Norwegian conglomerate that supports the maritime and oil industries as well as having a fairly active defense group. One of its more important products this last decade is supporting the U.S. Army through the production of Crew Remote Operated Weapon Systems (CROWS).

CROWS allow a soldier to aim and fire his weapon while inside his vehicle under maximum protection. The CROWS consists of a turret mounting a variety of machine guns or grenade launchers, visual detecting and aiming systems, and controls for the gunner. The use of these type of mountings has greatly reduced casualties by reducing the exposure of the crews to direct fire as well as the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat.

The Army has just awarded Kongsberg a further five year contract for production of the systems. If all options are exercised the contract could be worth up to just under a billion dollars. Previous contracts have seen Kongsberg deliver almost 10,000 systems for use on HUMVEE’s, MRAP vehicles and other support vehicles.

The company operates a plant in Pennsylvania to support these efforts.

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Army Buys More CROWS from Kongsberg

The U.S. Department of Defense was faced with an intense IED and mine threat in Iraq and Afghanistan. They attempted to defeat this threat and protect troops through a multi-pronged approach. Part of this was increasing the armor of basic vehicles such as HUMVEE and trucks. Another was to introduce the growing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) fleet.

Another way of maximizing protection for soldiers in vehicles was to introduce remotely operated turrets and weapons. Key to this effort was the Norwegian company Kongsberg. Kongsberg makes the major components of the Crew Remote Operated Weapon System (CROWS).

The CROW is a turret that may be attached to a variety of vehicles and hold different types of standard U.S. support weapons such as the .50 caliber machine gun or 40 mm grenade launcher. The operator is able to sit low inside the vehicle and use different sensors to detect targets and aim the weapons. This means that they do not need to expose themselves outside the vehicle leaving them vulnerable to snipers, small arms or blast weapons.

The U.S. has invested millions in the system and just awarded the company a further contract extension to continue manufacturing. The value of that contract is about $120 million. The company had won a contract in 2006 worth over a billion.

Even though the company is based outside the U.S. they like so many other European defense contractors have invested in U.S. facilities either through building a plant or acquiring a U.S. company. Kongsberg manufacturing facility is located in Johnstown, PA. The company also markets the system world wide and because the U.S. uses it on their General Dynamics (GD) Stryker vehicle based on a Canadian system Kongsberg also has a presence in that nation.

Photo from Colonel Killgore’s Flickr photostream.

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Kongsberg Continues Sales to U.S. Defense Market

Kongsberg is a Norwegian defense contractor that sells products across the world. One of the their most successful systems has been components of the U.S. military’s CROWS system. The Crew Remotely Operated Weapon System allows a turret or other weapon mount to be operated from within a vehicle so the gunner does not need to expose themselves. As part of the U.S. reaction to the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat in Iraq and Afghanistan the CROWS was installed on HUMVEES, Strykers and other U.S. crew transport vehicles.

Kongsberg has executed several sub-contracts with companies that provide parts or assemble armored vehicles for the U.S. Kongsberg has done so well with this that they have a factory in Pennsylvania for building the components. In 2009 the company received almost a billion dollars worth of contracts as part of the multi-billion CROWS program.

Now they have been awarded more work. This contract is worth about $18.5 million. The sub-contract is with General Dynamics (GD) and supports installation on US. Army Stryker vehicles. GD makes the Stryker and it is based on a system they have made for years for Canada’s military.

The world’s defense spending is large and the ability to have a niche product like this has done very well for Kongsberg.

Photo from The U.S. Army’s Flickr Photostream.

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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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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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Build A Niche And They Will Come — Kongsberg Wins Another Contract

The U.S. military as part of their various defenses against IEDs and mines has invested heavily in the last several years in remote weapon stations for their HUMVEE and MRAP vehicles. These are turrets where the gunner actually uses various electronic means to operate the weapon from inside the vehicle. This allows them to be behind the most armor and less exposed.

Kongsberg, a Norwegian company, has made key parts for the U.S. Crew Remotely Operated Weapon Systems (CROWS) since its inception. Yesterday they received another contract worth over $20 million for more of their part. In the last two years the Army has purchased almost 4,000 of the CROWS.

The only issue with work like this in defense contracting is that at some point it may end. The Army may buy all the vehicles with CROWS that it needs; or the threat may change requiring a different concept or system. It also may be that the CROWS will be used on more systems requiring more to be produced. Finally somebody else may come up with a better design. For now though Kongsberg continues to do well off of this idea.

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Finland Lets Large Contract For Air Defense System

The Country of Finland awarded a team of Kongsberg and Raytheon a contract worth about three billion Norwegian Kronor for a complete air defense system. Defpro.daily reports that the system will be based on NASAMS IIs system. This $460 million contract is the largest by the country since it purchased F/A-18 aircraft in the early Nineties.

As it has done in the past Finland is replacing older, Russian equipment with more modern, NATO compliant systems. The new air defense network will offer a significant upgrade in capability over the existing one used by the Finnish military. The NASAMS IIs is based around the AIM-120 air-to-air missile and a Raytheon made radar. It has been purchased by a variety of NATO and Scandinavian countries and was originally developed for Norway.

The contract will allow some of the work to be done in Finland offsetting some of the cost.

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US Army continues CROWS production

Kongsberg received further work under the general CROWS contract. The Crew Remotely Operated Weapon System provides a way for soldiers to work sensors and weapons while staying under armor. Kongsberg makes parts of the overall system and this is a continuation of earlier contracts. The overall CROWS contract is worth over $1 B, and this contract has a value of over $200 M.

See The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com for more.

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CROWS contract spreads to Maine

In another example of the international integration of the US Defense Budget a Maine company received a sub-contract from Kongsberg Defense of Norway to fabricate parts for the Crew Remote Operating Weapon System (CROWS). Kongsberg had recently won a contract in the Spring to build a part of the system. Now because of this contract the company in Maine is able to expand and hire a few more workers. The overall effect of the several hundred billion the US spends each year on defense is vast, affecting companies from Maine to Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more see the article on WCSH6′s website.

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JSF spreads the wealth

Lockheed Martin awarded a Norwegian company, Kongsberg, a contract to make parts for the F-35 JSF. See an article here. In an unrelated matter Norway is looking at buying either JSF or Swedish Gripen aircraft to replace their F-16 fleet. Kongsberg will get the contract worth up to $1 B or more even if Norway does not buy the JSF.

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