Kongsberg Gruppen has been awarded a framework contract for the modernisation of the French Army's Protector remote weapon stations (RWS).
Awarded by the French Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Nkr100m ($15.9m) contract covers repair and overhaul, as well as supply of logistic support for the Protector systems mounted onboard the army's Vehicule de l'Avant Blinde (VAB) 4x4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs).
The RWS systems have been supplied by the company as part of a separate Nkr500m ($79.9m) framework agreement signed with Renault Truck Defense for upgrade of the VAB front-line vehicle fleet in May 2008.
Manufactured by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Thales, Protector is a line of combat proven systems designed to enhance military troop protection and combat capabilities by enabling target acquisition and engagement from safer distances in the battlefield.
Available in six different variants, including Sea Lite and Medium Caliber RWS, the Protector product line can be precisely operated from inside the vehicle to enhance a gunner's protection.
Equipped with a stabilised firing platform, M6 smoke grenade dischargers, a fire control system and control grips, the system can be mounted on an array of platforms, including the M249 and M240 machine guns, Browning M2, Mk19 40mm automatic grenade launcher and Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).
Under full scale production since December 2001, the system is also operational with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, as well as the US and the UK.
The contract's performance period and further details have not been disclosed by the company.
Image: A Protector remote weapon station installed on a M1126 Stryker vehicle. Photo: TSGT Mike Buytas, USAF.