GD and Rafael partner to offer Samson RWS to US Military


General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) has entered into a teaming agreement with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to offer the Samson remote weapons stations (RWS) to the US Military.

As part of the agreement, four Samson variants are scheduled to be manufactured and offered to the US military, including the combat-proven MKI currently operating onboard the Czech Army's Pandur vehicles in Afghanistan.

"The remote weapons stations have been designed to provide enhanced protection for gunners inside the vehicles."

Developed and supported in the US, the cost-efficient and field-proven remote weapons stations have been designed to provide enhanced protection for gunners inside the vehicles, simultaneously enabling remote operation of a weapon.

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products armament systems vice president and general manager Steve Elgin said the partnership would deliver progressive capabilities to the US military's existing vehicle modernisation and next-generation ground combat and amphibious vehicle programmes.

Manufactured by Rafael, the Samson is a modular RWS capable of supporting a wide range of small and medium calibre machine guns, including 5.56mm to .50 calibre machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers, 40mm cannons, as well as anti-tank missiles and observation pods.

The system weighs less than other manned turrets, can be easily integrated into new or existing light to heavy armoured vehicles, and does not require penetration into the vehicle hull, which saves interior space for personnel and mission equipment.

Multiple Samson variants are also operational with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and other allied armed forces worldwide.

A joint venture was also established by GDATP and Rafael in 2003 for offering low-risk and high-value armament products to the US Department of Defense (DoD), and was successful in delivering the MK49 MOD 0 naval remote weapon station to the US Navy.

Image: A 12.7mm M2 Browning machine gun mounted onboard an Israel Samson remote controlled weapon station. Photo: courtesy of MathKnight and Zachi Evenor.