Kongsberg has been awarded a contract to maintain the US Army’s M153 Protector common remotely-operated weapon stations (CROWS).
Valued at NOK229m ($37.5m), the contract requires the company to repair and retrofit the systems that have already been delivered to the army.
The order forms part of a framework agreement signed with the service for production, and supply of system support and technical engineering support for M153 CROWS system in August 2012.
Awarded following a full and open competition, the agreement extends over a five year period and has a maximum potential value of up to $970m.
Valued at $1.4bn, CROWS is a joint acquisition programme for remote weapon stations (RWS) and is intended to offer improved protection capabilities, training and development support for the US army’s vehicle programmes.
Based on the combat proven M151 Protector, M153 CROWS are designed to enhance military troop protection and combat capabilities by enabling target acquisition and engagement from safer distances.
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Capable of mounting on a range of vehicles, the system also supports firing from the MK19 grenade machine gun, 0.50-calibre M2 machine gun, M240B machine gun and M249 squad automatic weapon from inside of a heavy armoured vehicle.
Besides army’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the system has also been used by the army national guard (ANG) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) during conflicts.
Kongsberg has to date delivered more than 10,000 M153 CROWS units to the US Army since August 2007.
The weapon is in use with more than 16 nations worldwide, including Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK.
Image: M153 Protector is based on the combat proven M151 Protector remote weapon station. Photo: courtesy of USAF.