Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Protector Super Lite
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Description: The Weapons Control System (WCS), also known as Remote Weapon Station (RWS) or M151 Protector, was developed by Kongsberg of Norway to protect armored vehicles without exposing the vehicle's crew to enemy fire. Such a system enables the crew to effectively operate the weapon and sensor systems of the WCS well protected under armor. The Protector has been designed to integrate light and medium-caliber guns as well as missile and grenade launchers.
Protector Hellfire is a variant equipped with two AGM-114 Hellfire anti-armor missiles tested by the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2004. The Protector Javelin is a version provided with the Javelin anti-tank missile command launch unit (CLU) developed in cooperation with the US Army's AMRDEC, Redstone Arsenal, USA. The Protector family of weapon station is targeted at light and medium armored vehicles and small boats. More than 2,000 RWS have been produced for customers worldwide since December 2001.
To date, the WCS has been purchased by the armed forces of Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States of America. The US Army selected the M151 Protector to be integrated onto the Stryker wheeled multi-purpose vehicle primarily on the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant, HMMWV and MRAP vehicles under the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) program awarded to Kongsberg in August 2007.
The Protector Lite is a low weight variant equipped with a recoilless M240 (MAG 58) or M249 (Mini-mi) 7.62mm machine gun on a fully stabilized platform. The Protector Lite has been selected by Norway Army for integration on its Iveco LMV light armored vehicles. Despite of new structure design and a new two-axis system, the Protector Lite retains a high degree of commonality with the M151 Protector. Its sensor package includes CCD-TV daylight camera, uncooled thermal camera and laser rangefinder.
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