Kongsberg has been awarded a contract for supply of its Protector M151 remote weapon stations (RWS) to the Irish Defence Forces.
The contract covers supply of an unspecified number of Protector M151 systems in support of Irish Defence Force's Piranha III armoured personnel carriers (APCs) fleet upgrade programme, over the next five years.
Specifically, the contract supports the first set of the upgrade programme.
Manufactured by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, the M151 Protector is a combat proven system, designed to enhance military troop protection and combat capabilities by enabling target acquisition and engagement from safer distances in the battlefield.
Equipped with a stabilised firing platform, a fire control system and control grips, the system can be mounted to 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) amongst others.
Apart from Ireland, the system is currently operational with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, as well as the US and the UK.
Deliveries under the contract are anticipated to commence in September 2014.
Manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag, the Piranha III is a 8x8 amphibious multipurpose armoured vehicle that offers a greater payload than preceding Piranha vehicles, and have been deployed in conflicts and peacekeeping operations worldwide.
Around 80 Piranha III APCs are currently operated by the Irish Defence Forces, IHS Jane's reports.
Image: The M151 Protector enables target acquisition and engagement from safer distances on the battlefield. Photo: copyright of Kongsberg.