Remote Weapon Stations

Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD)

This is a follow-up to an earlier post, “Coast Guard Continuing Quest to Deploy Counter-Drone Systems” –Seapower, that suggested, if cutters were given a Remote Weapons Station {RWS) similar to the one on the Interim Maneuver Short Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) vehicle pictured above, it would provide a great deal of flexibility in responding to a broad spectrum of threats, and that the Navy might be interested in a similar mount for their light amphibious warship (LAW).

I got to wondering how close that possibility might be. The Navy Department supplies the Coast Guard’s ships’ weapons, so there is no chance the Coast Guard could get such a weapon unless it was being used by either the Navy or Marine Corps.

Turns out the possibility may not be that remote.

Kongsberg claims to be the leading manufacturer of Remote Weapon Stations.

“Kongsberg is the world’s leading manufacturer of RWS, delivering nearly 20,000 RWS units to more than 20 countries worldwide. All RWS systems – including turrets – bound for U.S. customers are manufactured in Kongsberg’s Johnstown, Penn. facility with significant support from a U.S. supply base.”

Their portfolio of eight RWS, includes at least three in service with the Navy Department and one used by the Coast Guard. Remote weapon systems – KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace.

USMC set to buy 300 XM914E1 cannons for MADIS Inc 1

Their middle weight “Protector RS6” which is also designated as the XM914 is the basis for the IM-SHORAD. It is also used by the Marine Corps as the Remote Weapon System for their Marine Air Defense Integrated System, which is a lighter system than the IM-SHORAD having no provision for Hellfire and only two Stingers on the mount. Kongsberg Awarded Contract to Deliver XM914 Remote Weapon Stations to the US Marine Corps for the Marine Air Defense Integrated System – Soldier Systems Daily.

Their light weight “Protector RS4 Naval” is the basis of the Mk50 remote .50 cal. The Sea PROTECTOR MK50 supporting the U. S. Navy – KONGSBERG The Coast Guard has four 87 foot patrol boats used for SSBN force protection that are equipped with these and we expect to have two on each of the Offshore Patrol Cutters. 

Mk50 Seaprotector Remote Weapon System

One of Kongsberg’s heavier RWS, RT20 with a high velocity 30mm gun has been selected for the USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program, and is fully marinized to allow operations in marine environments. Kongsberg MCT-30 30mm Turret Selected for USMC ACV (

It is not the 30mm gun that makes the RS6 mount an attractive alternative to the Mk38, it is the ability to also mount Hellfire and Stinger, though the availability of a proximity fuse is a significant advantage. The gun itself is not superior to the 25mm and is definitely inferior to the higher velocity 30mm guns that use 30×173 ammunition which also includes a proximity fused round.

On the other hand this 30mm, in the RS6 mount is lighter than the Mk38 mod2/3 and would be a huge improvement over the .50 cal. Using both the 30mm and the coaxial 7.62mm on our smaller units would allow the use of the 7.62 for accurately placed warning shots and the 30mm for greater effectiveness should that be necessary. The addition of Hellfire and or APKWS would allow small units to deal with even larger threats.

Kongsberg seems to be able to integrate numerous weapon systems into these systems.

Photo: Kongsberg “SeaProtector“ gun mount with 70mm rocket launchers
Kongsberg RWS Launches Javelin Missiles From Unmanned Vehicle
OSHKOSH, Wis. (June 24, 2019) — Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, along with several industry partners, participated in a successful Javelin flight test from a Kongsberg remote weapon station on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). This demonstration represents the first-time firing of both the Javelin and the Northrop Grumman  lightweight 30mm cannon through a remotely operated weapon station on the Oshkosh Defense JLTV. (This is again their RS6 that is the basis for the IM-SHORAD

For an overview of the IM-SHORAD system, here is a video (sorry about the commercials).

10 thoughts on “Remote Weapon Stations

  1. Pingback: Is There a Replacement for the M2 .50 caliber Machine Gun | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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    • For naval applications Rheinmetall was instead looking into combining their HEL laser on a MLG27 light mount with a 27mm gun. There were some initial tests with a 10 kW version on the German Navy corvette Braunschweig for a couple weeks in 2015 (mostly testing integration on the mount and tracking targets – the rather hefty laser unit was simply grafted on in place of a magazine for the gun).

  3. Pingback: More on Surface to Surface Application of APKWS | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  4. Pingback: “Lockheed may repurpose its Joint Air-to-Ground Missile for air defense” –Defense News | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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