There is an increasing trend for military Land Forces around the World to replace manned crew-served weapon systems on vehicles, with remote controlled weapon systems, to improve crew protection, improve precision and reduce collateral damage, provide enhanced situational awareness and to increase the lethality of fielded weapon systems. This has coincided with Land Forces world-wide introducing 8×8, wheeled, Armoured Fighting Vehicles into their operational fleets.
With these two trends in mind, for over two years, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) in Norway has been working closely with Krauss Maffei Wegman (KMW) (now KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS)) in Germany, to integrate the KONGSBERG PROTECTOR RT60 Remote Turret on the Boxer Armoured Fighting Vehicle.
First displayed at the opening of the KNDS Boxer manufacturing facility at WFEL, Stockport in May 2021, ongoing close cooperation between KONGSBERG and KNDS has led towards the development of an impressive, integrated capability of the RT60-Boxer, that has recently, successfully completed platform and turret testing.
“Tangible evidence of this cooperation between KONGSBERG and KNDS has been this successful, live-fire testing and demonstrating of the RT60-Boxer in Norway, to a large international audience. This key milestone provides potential end-users with a technologically advanced, low risk, integrated Remote Turret and Boxer configuration for the modern Land Force,» said Eirik Tord Jensen, Executive Vice President, Land Systems division said, at the end of the successful demonstration.
The RT60, whose pedigree lies with the RT20, being delivered to the USMC as part of the ACV Programme, and the RT40, delivered to the US Army STRYKER Programme, enhances both these capabilities, to provide a technologically advanced, highly reliable, remote turret capability, well suited to modern, and future, military operations. KONGSBERG Remote Turrets have already been integrated on a wide variety of vehicles, including on a number of Unmanned Ground Vehicles, where the ability to safely operate and fire the remote turrets via remote control over radio has been well-proven.
Building on the capabilities of the RT20 and RT40, the RT60 provides an infantry or reconnaissance force with a broad range of capabilities, including an advanced sensor suite, with a day camera, thermal camera and laser-range-finder, and an enhanced weapon suite, including a Mk44 30 x 173mm cannon, 7.62 coax weapon, a Commander’s Independent Remote Weapon System (PROTECTOR RS4), with a range of weapon system integrations possible, and twin, under-armour Anti-Tank Guided Missiles.
The combined remote turret experience of KONGSBERG and platform experience of KNDS has seen a rapid and comparatively simple integration of the RT60 on Boxer, which has passed all testing so far with flying colours.