Kongsberg has been awarded a new contract from the Australian Defence Force to upgrade PROTECTOR M151 remote weapon stations, which have been delivered to Australia from 2004.
As part of a rapid acquisition, around 59 PROTECTOR M151s were procured by the Australian Defence Force in 2004 to add them to the Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) fleet prior to their commissioning in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Under the latest $5.1m contract, the company will update and overhaul the stations to latest standards in Norway, and deliver them in September next year.
Aimed at small and medium calibre weapons, the PROTECTOR remote weapon station protects military troops by enabling the vehicle's weapons to be activated from a shielded position within the vehicle.
Capable of deployment on any type of platform and claimed to be qualified for operations across the globe, the station has been deployed by 17 nations.
Jointly built by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Thales, the Protector is a range of combat-proven systems aimed at improving military troop protection and combat abilities by allowing target acquisition and engagement from secure distances in the battlefield.
Currently offered in six different variants including M151, M153, Sea, Lite, Super Lite and Medium Caliber RWS, the Protector line-up allow operating from within the vehicle to improve the gunner's safety.
The remotely-controlled system has worldwide army deployments including Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, the US and the UK.
Image: The Australian Defence Force procured 59 PROTECTOR M151s in 2004. Photo: courtesy of Kongsberg.