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Marine Corps award deal to produce 200+ remote weapon systems

A Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

A Johnstown defense company has been picked to supply specialized remote weapon stations for the U.S. Marines Corps’ latest Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

Kongsberg Protech Systems USA officials announced they have been awarded a contract to deliver more than 200 of their XM9014 remote weapon stations, which the Marines would use for developmental testing and evaluation before future orders are made, according to Scott Burk, vice president for business development and government relations for Kongsberg’s U.S. Land Systems.

Burk said most of the company’s more than 180 Industrial Park Road-based Kongsberg Protech employees will handle the work, and staff both in Johnstown and New Jersey would manage the contract itself.

“We are very excited to have been selected once again by the Marine Corps for a challenging (Remote Weapons System) program. We look forward to helping them meet an aggressive delivery schedule and provide Marines with a critical lethality capability,” said Jeff Wood, general manager for Kongsberg Protech Systems USA.

Kongsberg’s weapon system is designed to sit on top of the armored vehicle’s cabin. Equipped with a 30mm by 113mm cannon and co-axial machine gun, among other additions, a passenger controls the weapon from inside the vehicle, using a monitor that enables users to track moving vehicles and view thermal images behind brick walls, Kongsberg officials told The Tribune-Democrat in an interview last week.

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In a release to media Monday, company officials said the remote weapon system is the first of its kind to be qualified for installation on the JTLV, a Humvee replacement that debuted for the Marines last year.

The move is part of an effort to support the Marines’ ground-based Air Defense System.

“Although a new class of weapon and station, it is based on a proven design and previously qualified components to provide the Marine Corps with a low-risk system that reduces the burden of provisioning and training across the service,” Wood said.

Kongsberg officials did not list the dollar amount in their announcement and declined to provide it when asked for details. Work on the contract has already begun and that orders are “event-based” rather than on a specific contract timetable, according to Burk.

But it’s anticipated that the deal will lead to additional orders as it moves through the testing phase, he added.

“A concurrent low-rate initial production and full-rate production contract path is being formulated by the USMC,” Burk said in a statement.

Kongsberg has been delivering remote weapon systems to the military for nearly 20 years and celebrated its 20,000th unit last week.

Over the past two decades, the company has delivered the weapon systems to the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as more than 20 countries across the globe.

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© 2020 The Tribune-Democrat